The Georgia and Tennessee gubernatorial candidates who hail from the Chattanooga area are now both running on a platform that includes states' rights as a plank.
"Do you believe the Constitution is still a relevant document for our country?" U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., asked a crowd assembled Thursday at the U.S. Capitol. "If nobody else stands up for state's rights other than Tennessee and Georgia, I can assure you, we will."
Rep. Deal made his remarks while discussing the health care bill, which the U.S. House may vote on today.
According to a news release from the Deal campaign, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who touted states' rights at his annual Labor Day picnic earlier this year, stood alongside Rep. Deal as he made the remarks.
Dr. Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said "states' rights," for some voters, is strongly connected to segregation, but still isn't likely to hurt Rep. Deal's chances.
"I would suspect that the negative connotations would be strongest in the minority community," he said. "But since Nathan's running as a Republican, I would not expect him to get many minority votes."
Another candidate in the Georgia governor's race, Ray McBerry, has released an ad touting states' rights and is going on a "states' rights tour" across the state.
In the ad, Mr. McBerry says he is "the only states-rights Republican in the race for governor."
Rep. Deal and Mr. McBerry are two of several Republicans running for the governor's office.
Others include Secretary of State Karen Handel; state Sen. Eric Johnson, R-Savannah; Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine, and state Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton.
House Minority leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin; Attorney General Thurbert Baker; former Georgia National Guard Gen. David Poythress and former Gov. Roy Barnes are running on the Democratic side.
* April 26: Last day for candidates to file in state primary
* July 20: State primary
* Nov. 2: General election