Gubernatorial hopeful and U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal released a lengthy list of endorsements that includes many mayors, commissioners and other public officials in Northwest Georgia.
"A key to success in a statewide race is having the support of those who know you best," Rep. Deal said in a news release. "I am both honored and humbled by the support of so many people from my district."
LaFayette Mayor Neal Florence, who endorsed Rep. Deal in the governor's race, said he has seen him climb from the state Senate to a seat in Congress and would support him in his next move.
"He listens to his constituents, and he's probably got a pretty level head for decision-making," Mr. Florence said.
Dade County Commissioner Robert Goff, who also endorsed Rep. Deal, said he has been impressed by the congressman's fairness and how personable he has been on visits to Dade County. He also said it would be good for the region to have someone from North Georgia in the governor's office.
"A lot of the mountain counties feel like sometimes we don't get our fair share from Atlanta," Mr. Goff said. "To have somebody that's lived here and knows the area a little better can be or should be a plus to the mountain counties."
In LaFayette, Mr. Florence said he's not surprised by the support for Rep. Deal in Northwest Georgia.
"He's been our representative for a number of years, so he's popular," the mayor said.
Dr. Merle Black, a professor of political science at Emory University, said most experts expect Mr. Deal to do well on northern end of the state and the endorsements are a reflection of that.
"It would be surprising if he didn't get those," Dr. Black said.
Despite the endorsements from inside the 9th District, Dr. Black said the Deal campaign has plenty of work to do to overcome more well known candidates from statewide offices such as Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and former Secretary of State Karen Handel.
"They should have greater name recognition," Dr. Black said. "If you don't have that name recognition, you've got to either buy it or spend time canvassing the state. It doesn't mean he can't win, but it's certainly an advantage to have that recognition."
Even Mr. Deal's supporters acknowledge it's an uphill battle to get past Ms. Handel and Mr. Oxendine.
"It'll take a good a run to do that," Mr. Goff said.
* Nathan Deal
* Karen Handel
* Eric Johnson
* Ray McBerry
* John Oxendine
* Austin Scott
* Jeff Chapman
* Thurbert Baker
* Roy Barnes
* Carl Camon
* DuBose Porter
* David Poythress
* John Monds
* Al Bartell
Rep. Tom Dickson, Catoosa and Whitfield counties
Rep. Tom Graves, Gordon and Pickens counties
Rep. John Meadows, Gordon and Murray counties
Rep. Jay Neal, Catoosa and Walker counties
Rep. Martin Scott, Dade and Walker counties
Rep. Tom Weldon, Catoosa and Whitfield counties
Rep. Roger Williams, Whitfield County
Sen. Jeff Mullis, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties
Catoosa Commission Chairman Keith Greene
Catoosa Commissioner Ken Marks
Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Ronnie Cobb
Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger
Dade Executive Ted Rumley
Dade Commissioner Peter Cervelli
Dade Commissioner Robert Goff
Trenton Mayor Barton Harris
Gordon Clerk of Court Brian Brannon
Gordon Tax Commissioner Scott Clements
Gordon Commission Chairman Alvin Long
Murray School Board Member Becky Whaley
Murray School Board Member Kay McCurdy
Walker Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell
Walker Clerk of Court Carter Brown
Rossville Mayor Johnny Baker
Chickamauga Mayor Ray Crowder
LaFayette Mayor Neal Florence
Whitfield Commission Chairman Mike Babb
Whitfield Clerk of Court Melica Kendrick
Dalton Mayor David Pennington
Varnell Mayor Dan Peeples
Whitfield Tax Commissioner Danny Sane
Source: Nathan Deal Campaign