ATLANTA -- In a move that hasn't happened in a decade, an unsuccessful primary candidate has endorsed the nominee of a different party. Republican Darwin Carter is endorsing Democratic nominee JB Powell for the post of agriculture commissioner they both sought.
Carter says that the man who beat him for the nomination, Gary Black, is too beholden to the big businesses he represented for 20 years as a lobbyist and that he's been lax about campaign ethics. Black was the president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council.
"I felt that in good moral conscience, I could not support the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner because his ties to special interests as a lobbyist will hurt Georgia farmers and Georgia families," Carter said.
Carter, a former Reagan appointee in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also credited Powell with creative ideas. One of those ideas made Powell, a state senator from Blythe, the first statewide candidate to embrace the expansion of legalized gambling to include horse racing.
Black's campaign spokeswoman pooh-poohed the endorsement Thursday.
"We offer our congratulations," said Elizabeth H. Vaughan. "Gary has strong bipartisan support of local- and state-elected officials, and farm and consumer supporters in every Georgia county and looks forward to continuing the discussion of the issues: safe food, strong farms, responsible government."