Deal in 2012
|82nd Governor of Georgia|
January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Sonny Perdue|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th district
January 3, 2007 – March 21, 2010
|Preceded by||Charlie Norwood|
|Succeeded by||Tom Graves|
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Ed Jenkins|
|Succeeded by||Charlie Norwood|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th district
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Charlie Norwood|
|Succeeded by||Charlie Norwood|
|Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 49th district
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Howard Overby|
|Succeeded by||Jane Hemmer|
|Born||John Nathan Deal
August 25, 1942
Millen, Georgia, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic (Before 1995)
|Alma mater||Mercer University|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1966–1968|
John Nathan Deal (born August 25, 1942) is an American politician who has been the 82nd Governor of Georgia since January 2011. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1992, but switched to the Republican Party in 1995. On March 1, 2010, Deal announced his resignation from Congress to run for governor of Georgia.
Deal faced a crowded field of candidates in the July Republican primary but ultimately faced former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel in a tightly contested August 10, 2010, primary runoff election, and won by fewer than 2500 votes. The following day Handel declined to pursue a recount and conceded. On November 2, Democratic opponent Roy Barnes called to concede the race for governor of Georgia, making Deal the governor-elect to succeed term-limited Sonny Perdue in 2011. Deal won his re-election campaign for governor in 2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 U.S. House of Representatives (1993–2010)
- 3 Elections
- 4 Governor of Georgia (2011–present)
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Deal was born in the town of Millen and grew up on a farm in Sandersville. His parents, Mary Mallard and Noah J. Deal, were teachers. He attended Mercer University in Macon, where he earned his bachelor and law degrees with honors. After he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1966, he went into the United States Army, where he earned the rank of captain.
Deal spent twenty-three years in private law practice. He was also a criminal prosecutor, a Northeastern Judicial Circuit judge, and a Hall County juvenile court judge. In 1980, he was elected to the Georgia Senate as a Democrat. In November 1990, he was elected by his party to be the President Pro Tempore, the second highest ranking position in the chamber. Democrat Jane R. Hemmer replaced him, but was defeated by Republican Casey Cagle.
U.S. House of Representatives (1993–2010)
Deal was first elected to Congress in November 1992 as a Democrat, succeeding eight-term incumbent Ed Jenkins in Georgia's 9th congressional district. He was re-elected as a Democrat in 1994. However, on April 11, 1995, shortly after Republicans assumed control of the US House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, Deal joined the Republican Party, which was led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, a fellow Georgian. Years later, Gingrich said that Deal became a Republican because he liked what he saw in the Contract With America.
Deal was handily re-elected in his first election as a Republican in the 1996 General Election, even though Jenkins endorsed his Democratic opponent, attorney McCracken "Ken" Poston. This was the first time his district had elected a Republican for a full term since Reconstruction. Deal was unopposed for re-election in 1998, 2002 and 2004 and defeated an underfunded Democratic candidate in 2000. His district was renumbered the 10th District in 2003, but became the 9th again after a mid-decade redistricting in 2006.
In November 2006, Deal was re-elected 77%–23%. His Democratic opponent was John Bradbury, a former elementary school teacher turned truck driver. His district, already heavily Republican, became even more Republican after the mid-decade redistricting pushed it further into the Atlanta suburbs.
Deal's voting record was relatively moderate in his first term, getting ratings in the 60s from the American Conservative Union (ACU). He moved sharply to the right after his party switch and voted for all four articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. From 1996 onward, he garnered ratings of 90 or higher from the ACU.
During his 17 years in Congress, Deal rose to chair the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce, where he became a noted expert on entitlement reform and health care policy.
Nathan Deal introduced H.R. 698, the Citizenship Reform Act, which would eliminate birthright citizenship for illegal aliens in the U.S. The 14th Amendment begins "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...." Deal's argument is that illegal aliens (and their children) are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
- Recovery Services, Inc. controversy
The Office of Congressional Ethics released a report on March 29, 2010, that concluded Deal appeared to have improperly used his office staff to pressure Georgia officials to continue the state vehicle inspection program that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for his family’s auto salvage business. Deal stated: "I have done nothing wrong and am not going to let this tarnish my (...) record of public service."
The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), released their investigative report (Review No. 09-1022) on March 29, 2010. The report stipulate, "Representative Nathan Deal and his business partner own Recovery Services, Inc. a/k/a Gainesville Salvage & Disposal ('GSD'), located in Gainesville, Georgia... The OCE does not take a position on Representative Deal's motivations for inserting himself into discussions of potential modifications to a state vehicle inspection program... The OCE reviews the facts as presented at the time of review and does not take a position on whether Representative Deal's income from GSD was mistakenly reported as earned income since 2006 on his federal income taxes... [F]or all the reasons stated above, the OCE Board recommends further review by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct". (Note: Report was submitted on January 28, 2010.) The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, otherwise known as the House Ethics Committee, never reported or commented on any investigation of Representative Deal, as his resignation, announced March 1, 2010, excluded him from the Office of Congressional Ethics' jurisdiction. Although this seemed too coincidental for some, Deal maintained in a speech to supporters that the resignation was so that he could "devote [his] full energies" to the gubernatorial campaign.
On March 1, 2010, Deal announced his intention to resign in order to focus on his campaign for Governor of Georgia. Before returning to Georgia to run for governor, Deal cast his final congressional vote against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
2010 election for Governor
Incumbent Republican Governor Sonny Perdue was term-limited in 2010. Seven candidates filed to run in the Republican primary. In the initial Republican primary in July, no candidate received the 50% threshold to win the primary outright. Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel ranked first with 34%, qualifying for the run-off election. Deal ranked second with 23% of the vote. Candidates who didn't qualify include State Senator Eric Johnson (20%), Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine (17%), State Senator Jeff Chapman (3%), businessman Ray McBerry (3%), and businessman Otis Putnam (0%). Deal performed the strongest in the northern part of the state, where he lives and represents. However, he also won some counties in the southern part of the state, such as Candler (30%) and Tift (24%). He won five counties with a majority including his home of Hall (64%), Dade (56%), Walker (55%), White (53%), and Stephens (53%).
The run-off election between Handel and Deal was very competitive. Deal was endorsed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Handel was endorsed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On August 10, Deal defeated Handel 50.2%-49.8%, a difference of just 2,519 votes. Handel performed well in the western and eastern borders of the state, as well as the counties surrounding Atlanta. She won the heavily populated Fulton County with 71%, her best performance in the state followed by Glascock (70%) and Burke (70%). Deal's two best counties were Taliaferro (80%) and Hall (79%).
In the general election, he faced former governor and state senator Roy Barnes (D) and John Monds (L). Barnes previously won the 1998 gubernatorial election with 52% of the vote, and lost re-election in 2002 to State Senator Sonny Perdue 51%-46%. Perdue was the first Georgia Republican Governor since Reconstruction. Barnes has always been considered a moderate. After he lost re-election, he returned to practicing law for the last eight years until trying to make a comeback. Deal tried to connect Barnes with President Barack Obama. Barnes said "if you would listen to what is being said, you would have thought that this is an election for president of the United States." Barnes also tried to distance himself from Obama saying his health care law was "the greatest failure of political leadership in my lifetime". On November 3, Deal defeated Barnes 53%-43%.
2011 Ethics Investigation
In 2011, then Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission Executive Secretary Stacey Kalberman and Deputy Executive Secretary Sherilyn Streiker launched an ethics investigation into Deal's campaign finances during his 2010 gubernatorial race. According to the complaint, Deal had used state campaign funds to pay legal bills stemming from a federal ethics investigation when he was in Congress, that he had personally profited from his gubernatorial campaign's $135,000 rental of aircraft from a company he partly owned, and that he had accepted campaign contributions beyond the legal limits. The campaign also paid a total of $135,000 to consulting companies which were owned by Deal's daughter-in-law and the father of Chris Riley, Deal's chief of staff.
As Kalberman and Streiker were preparing to serve subpoenas to Deal on grounds of these allegations, his chief of staff, and others involved in the case, Kalberman's salary was cut by $35,000 and Streiker was ousted from her position. Soon after, Kalberman was forced to resign and was replaced by Holly LaBerge, who was recruited by the governor's office. On July 23, 2012, the ethics commission cleared Deal of major ethics violations while finding he made “technical defects” in a series of personal financial and campaign finance reports. In July 2012, Deal agreed to pay $3,350 in administrative fees to resolve violations of campaign finance and disclosure laws.
Holly LaBerge, the head of the ethics commission that cleared Deal of major ethics violations, claimed in July 2014 that Ryan Teague, Deal's counsel, called her to say: “It was not in the agency’s best interest for these cases to go to a hearing … nor was it in their best political interest either.” Deal has stated that he is "not aware of any communications along those lines".
2014 gubernatorial election
Deal ran for re-election in 2014. He defeated two primary challengers and defeated Democratic State Senator Jason Carter in the general election with 53% of the vote to Carter's 45%.
Governor of Georgia (2011–present)
Deal took office as governor on January 10, the second Monday of 2011, as required by the Constitution of Georgia. He became the first Georgia governor to be inaugurated inside the Georgia State Capitol since Herman Talmadge in 1956, due to a major winter storm. His second inauguration also took place indoors due to the threat of rain.
Criminal Justice Reform
In 2011, Georgia was in the midst of a criminal justice crisis. The prison population had doubled in the past two decades to 56,000, along with the state's incarceration budget. The recidivism rate was 30 percent for adults and 65 percent for juveniles. In response, Deal commissioned the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council, tasked with performing an exhaustive review of the state's current system, identifying key areas of focus and providing recommendations for reforms. These areas included increased funding and support for accountability courts, overhauling the juvenile justice system, and implementing prisoner re-entry initiatives. The Council's work resulted in bipartisan legislation that is paying dividends. Through these efforts, Georgia has avoided the need for 5,000 additional prison beds over 5 years and saved taxpayers at least $264 million.  A 2014 study showed that “prison sentences imposed on African-American offenders have dropped by 20 percent.”
On April 25, 2013 Governor Deal signed HB 349 into law, which enacted a second round of criminal justice reforms. These reforms took a “smart on crime” approach and were based on recommendations from the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. This law gave those who, while locked up, have earned money toward college in the form of a HOPE Scholarship G-E-D Voucher the ability to use that money up to two years after their release. In addition, Gov. Deal reinvested $5M to create a voluntary grant program that gives communities incentives to offer judges more non-confinement sentencing options. These could include substance abuse treatment or family counseling. These methods have been proven to better reduce recidivism for low-risk offenders.
With the help of the Council and the Vera Institute of Justice, Gov. Deal has developed extensive performance measures to track the success of previous reform to ensure they are enhancing public safety and saving taxpayer dollars. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported, “Since 2007 alone, more than three-dozen such courts have opened their doors across Georgia. In the first quarter of 2014, more than 4,100 offenders were enrolled in the state’s 105 accountability courts, and many of these participants would likely be in prison without this alternative.”
In regards to the final step of criminal justice reform, re-entry, Governor Deal went a step further. On April 25, 2014 Governor Deal announced the creation of the Governor’s Interfaith Council, composed of religious leaders across Georgia, to expand upon recent criminal justice reforms. These programs and council advisors will implement cost-effective strategies will work to increase the number of former offenders returning to the workforce and supporting their families. By removing barriers to employment, housing and education for rehabilitated offenders, a larger number of returning citizens are able to rejoin the workforce and support their families. Some of Deal's initiatives include education and jobs training programs, "banning the box" and creation of the Department of Community Supervision, which streamlines re-entry programs across various state agencies. 
Safe Carry Protection Act
In 2014, Deal signed House Bill (H.B.) 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act, referred to by critics as the "Guns Everywhere" Law. Deal stated that gun rights through the United States Constitution's Second Amendment are important to people in Georgia. The Safe Carry Protection Act is a controversial new law to take effect on July 1, 2014 that permits licensed gun owners to carry guns into many public and private places, including churches, school property, bars, nightclubs, libraries, and some government buildings in Georgia. The law was supported by the Georgia Baptist Convention which includes 3,600 Baptist churches in Georgia in favor of increased church autonomy, but is not supported by Catholic or Episcopalian church leaders due to their belief that it is against Jesus' teachings. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that while 57% of Georgians believe that owning a gun protects people, 59% disapprove of the law itself.
|Georgia gubernatorial election, 2010|
|1992||9th||Nathan Deal||113,024||59%||Daniel Becker||77,919||41%|
|1994||9th||Nathan Deal||79,145||58%||Robert L. Castello||57,568||42%|
|1996||9th||McCracken "Ken" Poston||69,662||34%||Nathan Deal||132,532||66%|
|1998||9th||(no candidate)||Nathan Deal||122,713||100%|
|2000||9th||James Harrington||60,360||25%||Nathan Deal||183,171||75%|
|2002||10th||(no candidate)||Nathan Deal||129,242||100%|
|2004||10th||(no candidate)||Nathan Deal||219,136||100%|
|2006||9th||John D. Bradbury||39,240||23%||Nathan Deal||128,685||77%|
|2008||9th||Jeff Scott||70,401||25%||Nathan Deal||216,925||75%|
- Georgia (U.S. state) portal
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- Georgia gubernatorial election, 2010
- August 11, 2010, by Aaron Gould Sheinin (2010-08-11). "Deal defeats Handel in August 2010 Republican primary". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "Deal defeats Barnes to take Governor's Mansion". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
- [dead link]
- "Biography | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor". Gov.georgia.gov. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "The U.S. Congress Votes Database". The Washington Post.
- "Candidate - Nathan Deal". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "The Albany Herald - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Baltimore Sun (1995-04-11). "Georgia Congressman Deserts Demos / Nathan Deal is third to switch to GOP since Nov. 8 - SFGate". Articles.sfgate.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Newt Gingrich talks about Nathan Deal on YouTube in campaign video for Deal's gubernatorial bid
- H. R. 698 (see especially section 3)
- Published March 29, 2010, by Eric Lipton (March 29, 2010). "Ethics Report Faults Ex-Congressman". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- OCE (2010-03-26). "Review No. 09-1022" (PDF).
- Justin Elliott (2010-03-01). "Did GOP Rep Resign To Squelch Ethics Probe?". http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Published March 1, 2010 by Aaron Gould Sheinin and Jim Tharpe. "Deal's resignation upends state politics". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- March 1, 2010, by Aaron Gould Sheinin (2010-03-01). "Breaking: Deal says he’ll resign from Congress | Gold Dome Live". Blogs.ajc.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "GA Governor - R Primary Race - Jul 20, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "Karen Handel Concedes Georgia GOP Governor Runoff to Nathan Deal". CBS News. August 11, 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-19.[dead link]
- "GA Governor - R Runoff Race - Aug 10, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "GA Governor Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "Handel, Deal Neck and Neck in GOP Gubernatorial Runoff". Fox News. August 11, 2010.
- "GA - Governor Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "GA Governor Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Copeland, Larry (July 16, 2014). "New ethics memo surfaces, roiling Ga. governor's race". USA Today.
- Walls, Jim (August 28, 2011). "Probe sought Deal data". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Sheinin, Aaron (April 4, 2014). "Jury rules in favor of ex-ethics chief; awards $700,000 judgment". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Cassidy, Christina (December 12, 2013). "Subpoenas Related To Ethics Complaints Involving Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal". Huffington Post.
- Sheinin, Aaron (July 14, 2014). "Ethics chief claims Deal aides pressured her, threatened agency". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Press Release (February 16, 2011) - "Deal, Leaders Seek Commission on Criminal Justice Reform". Governor Nathan Deal - Office of the Governor.
- Rankin, Bill & Gould Sheinin, Aaron (August 2, 2014) - "Fewer Black Georgians Sent to Prison". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Press Release (August 4, 2014) - "AJC: Deal's Criminal Justice Reforms Paying Dividends". Governor Nathan Deal - Office of the Governor.
- Press Release (April 25, 2014) - "Deal: Interfaith Council Will Build Upon Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives". Governor Nathan Deal - Office of the Governor.
- Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches, CNN.com, Atlanta, GA: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 23 April 2014, Sayers, D.M. & McLaughlin, E.C., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- House Bill 60, Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Georgia House of Representatives, Atlanta, GA, 2014, Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Ga. governor signs 'guns everywhere' into law, USA Today, New York, NY: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., 23 April 2014, Copeland, L. & Richards, D., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Georgia governor signs 'unprecedented' gun rights bill, The Huffington Post.com, The Huffington Post.com, LLC, 23 April 2014, Lavender, P., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Georgia’s sweeping gun law sparks religious backlash, Time.com, 5 May 2014, Sanburn, J., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Georgia lawmakers pass controversial 'guns everywhere' bill, MSNBC.com, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 21 March 2014, Richinick, M., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Catholic archbishop: No guns in my churches, Newsmax.com, West Palm Beach, FL: Newsmax Media, Inc., 30 April 2014, Burke, C., Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "11/2/2010 - Federal and Statewide". sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nathan Deal.|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Profile at SourceWatch
- NYT Article on effects of his anti-illegal immigration legislation March 12, 2007
- News investigation on YouTube