Oxendine still feels like the favorite - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Oxendine still feels like the favorite

John Oxendine John Oxendine

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Republican gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine has been the front runner for most of the campaign, but in the last week the polls have tightened considerably.  Oxendine said that is expected and he still feels like the favorite. 

John Oxendine is expecting about 400 people to celebrate tonight inside the Grand Ballroom at the Georgian Terrace hotel.

But the four-term Insurance Commissioner says he does not expect to win the nomination outright tonight. He expects a runoff to decide the nominee.

"Yes, I mean with seven Republicans running there will be a runoff," Oxendine said. "We look forward to being there, and on the tenth being the nominee and going against Roy Barnes, or whoever the Democrats put forward. I think, clearly, we are going to be the strongest candidate to take on the Democratic nominee, and make sure the governor's office stays in Republican hands."

Oxendine said he thinks he is the only Republican candidate for governor who can beat Roy Barnes in the general election, because of his statewide name recognition.

"I'm looking forward to opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate this evening," he said.

But the four-term insurance commissioner said he knows he will face a run off for the Republican nomination. Even though polls say the race has tightened in the last week, he said Georgians will not change their vote.

"The people of Georgia are smart. They are not going to let the media pick who their candidates are. People are too smart for that."

"A regional candidate can not beat a statewide candidate. The only way the Republican party will win against Roy Barnes is to have a statewide candidate. I'm the only state wide candidate. I'm the only candidate that can carry places all over Georgia."

Oxendine stood on some street corners and waved signs this morning. He said he feels very confident he will be a runoff in three weeks, and said he looks forward to opening a celebration bottle of champagne tonight.

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