U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal said this morning outside the Hall County Courthouse that he will enter the 2010 contest. He said he will be a governor who "does his own thinking, ties his own shoes and can deliver a speech without a teleprompter."
Deal, a one-time Democrat and former state senator, is one of the most senior members of Georgia's congressional delegation. He began eyeing the race after Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle an early Republican favorite withdrew for health reasons. Both men are from Gainesville and share the same north Georgia political base.
Four Republicans are already in the race to replace Gov. Sonny Perdue. They are Secretary of State Karen Handel, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, state Sen. Eric Johnson and state Rep. Austin Scott.