Barnes ready for Handel or Deal - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Barnes ready for Handel or Deal

By Don Logana - bio | email

ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) - The democrats have their candidate and the republicans have narrowed it down to two.

Now, the race for Georgia governor heats up. Tuesday's primary election was a mixed bag, full of disappointment for two GOP candidates ready to throw the gloves off and for the Democratic candidate redemption.

Eight years after being ousted after one term as Georgia's governor, Roy Barnes hit the stage victorious in the Democratic primary election. But, he still doesn't know who he'll he face in November.

"As I said tonight both are members of a team that have failed us," Barnes said.

On the Republican side, former Congressman Nathan Deal believes he'll pick up endorsements from his defeated opponents.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel says she is the future, taking a shot at Deal and a possible showdown with Barnes in the fall.

"I believe Georgia is ready to move forward in a bold way in this 21st century. We're ready to move forward. We're not gonna go back," said Handel.

"I am the conservative candidate in this run off and we are going to be coming back to see you and we are going to build on that support," Deal said.

Meanwhile, early front runner, former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine suffered a sudden fall from the top of the heap. Savannah's own former senator Eric Johnson also fell short on primary night.

"There is no dissappointment in this campaign. We stuck to the issues, we focused on jobs and we focused on the economy," Johnson told WTOC.

"We've had a lot of fun. We had a great experience. We came up a little short. That happens." Oxendine said.

For Barnes, he's looking to make ammends with groups he upset during his first term as governor, specifically teachers.

"I think what they have been through the last eight, it wasn't hard to make ammends," said Barnes.

While Barnes focuses on November, Deal and Handel hope voters brave the August heat to vote one more time in the run-off election on August 10.

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