Nathan Deal

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Nathan Deal
Nathan Deal 2013.jpg
Governor of Georgia
In office
January 10, 2011-present
Term ends
January 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorSonny Perdue (R)
Base salary$139,339
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$10,369,622
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
1993 - 2011
Georgia State Senate
1981 - 1993
Bachelor'sMercer University (1964)
J.D.Mercer University (1966)
BirthdayAugust 25, 1942
Place of birthMillen, Georgia
Office website
Campaign website
Nathan Deal (b. August 25, 1942, in Millen, Georgia) is the 82nd and current Republican Governor of Georgia.[1] He was first elected in 2010 and took office on January 10, 2011. Deal's first term expires in January 2015 and he is up for re-election in 2014.[2]

Before becoming governor, Deal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 until March 2010, when he resigned in order to campaign for governor. Deal also served in the Georgia State Senate from 1981-1993.[3] Deal was a Democrat for his entire tenure in the state Senate, and was elected on the Democratic ticket to his first term in Congress. He switched his affiliation to the GOP in April 1995, citing his discomfort at being the most conservative Democrat in Georgia's delegation as motivation for the change. In 1996, Deal's first election as a Republican, he won with a large margin and went to Washington as the first Republican his district had elected since Reconstruction.[4]

An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Deal as the 4th most conservative governor in the country.[5]

Deal is currently seeking a second term as Georgia Governor. He easily overtook two challengers for the Republican nomination in the May 20 primary, and will face Democrat Jason Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt in the general election on November 4, 2014.[6]


Deal earned both his undergraduate and law degree from Mercer University, where he now serves on the board.

Immediately after completing law school in 1966, Deal began his two year term of service in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of Captain. From 1970-71, he was an assistant district attorney, followed by a single year as a Juvenile Court Judge in Hall County. From 1977 to 1979, he was Hall's County Attorney. In 1979, he entered private practice, where he continued until 1992.[7]


  • J.D. Mercer University (1966)
  • B.A. Mercer University (1964)

Political career

Governor of Georgia (2011-present)

Deal was first elected governor on November 2, 2010 and assumed office the following January.[3]


Gun rights

On April 23, 2014, Deal signed a controversial gun rights bill allowing licensed gun owners to carry firearms into public places, including schools, bars, churches, government buildings and elsewhere.[8] The Georgia legislature passed the legislation in 2013. Deal spoke in favor of the bill in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "There are always opportunities for people to use any piece of legislation as a political tool if they don’t like it. But there was bipartisan support for the bill," Deal said. He went on, "The important premise we all should remember is these are people who have their fingerprints taken, their backgrounds checked, and they have been licensed to carry a weapon. They’ve been subjected to scrutiny of the state."[8]

Fiscal 2014 Budget

Deal introduced his proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 in his State of the State address, delivered in January 2013. His budget included a proposed $40.837 billion in total spending.[9][10] On the revenue side, his budget anticipated $21 billion in federal tax dollars and $19.341 billion in state taxes, the latter being a 2.7 percent increase from fiscal year 2013's budget. Claiming that urgent action was needed to avoid a major funding shortfall in the state's Medicaid insurance program, he called on the legislature to extend the Department of Community Health's authority to levy the hospital provider tax beyond its scheduled June end. Deal announced 3 percent cuts in most departments except K-12 education and increased funding for Pre-K classes. The governor asserted that state per-capita spending decreased by 17 percent over the previous decade, and in last five years the number of government employees decreased by 9,000.[11]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals looking at 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation record, Deal was ranked number 7 (tie). The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[12][13]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Nathan Deal endorsed Newt Gingrich in the 2012 presidential election. [14]

First budget cuts

During his inaugural address, Deal pledged, “We must justify every cent that government extracts from our society.”[15]

In his first State of the State address, Deal announced 14,000 state government jobs would be eliminated and state employment would be frozen at current levels. In addition, the governor’s first budget revealed that many programs would be curtailed and some would be entirely gone.

“Many politicians have long talked about reducing the size of government,” Deal said. “My friends, we are doing it.” The governor told agencies to reduce current spending by 4% and to expect 7% average budget cuts in the fiscal year that started July 1. Deal proposed no new taxes or increases to existing taxes. He presented the General Assembly with an $18.162 billion fiscal 2012 budget proposal that was 3.75% and $273 million more than fiscal 2011. The governor said teacher furloughs should end and HOPE scholarship grants could not exceed funding available from the Georgia lottery.

“We must act now to maintain the Georgia jewel known as HOPE,” Deal said.[15]


Delta Air Lines tax exemption

On April 27, 2011, Deal signed legislation giving Delta Air Lines a partial exemption from the fuel sales tax. The exemption was valued at $30 million. Two weeks later, the company gave Deal and his wife Diamond medallion status - a perk worth almost $8,000.[16]

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue, when he was in office, set a policy "that generally banned state officials from accepting gifts worth more than $25 from anyone with whom they conduct state business."[17] Deal reaffirmed the governor's position and extended the policy when he assumed office. A spokesman for the governor explained the gesture as an effort to promote economic development rather than a personal gift. He emphasized, "any time [the Diamond medallion status] will be used, it will be used for state business."[17]

U.S. House of Representatives (1993-2010)

Deal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 as a Democrat, though he changed his political affiliation to the GOP in April of 1995. He publicly stated that the decision was motivated by discomfort in being the most conservative Democrat in Georgia's delegation; however, rumors persisted that the real motivation was the Democrats' wholesale drubbing in the 1994 midterm elections.[4]

In 1996, Deal's first election as a Republican, he won with a large margin and went to Washington as the first Republican his district had elected since Reconstruction. From 1998 to 2006, he only faced a contest for re-election twice, in 2000 and 2006.[4]

Shortly after the healthcare vote, Deal submitted his resignation to Congress in order to commit all his time to running for governor. He had already been an announced candidate for nearly a year. At the time, he was under investigation for ethical violations in Congress and a Federal grand jury had handed down a subpoena. His resignation was tendered before any charges could be brought and he was subsequently cleared.[18]

State Senate (1981-1993)

Beginning in 1980, Deal served as a Democratic member of the Georgia State Senate. He left the Senate in January 1993 after winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives the previous November.

On The Issues Vote Match

Nathan Deal's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Deal is a Hard-Core Conservative. Deal received a score of 7 percent on social issues and 88 percent on economic issues.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[19]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Neutral
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: June 23, 2014.[20]



See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2014

Deal is running for re-election as governor in 2014.[21]

He won the Republican nomination in the primary on May 20, 2013. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

  • Republican primary
Governor of Georgia, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngNathan Deal Incumbent 72.1% 430,170
David Pennington 16.7% 99,548
John Barge 11.2% 66,500
Total Votes 596,218
Election Results Via:Georgia Secretary of State Election Results.


General Election
Governor of Georgia
Poll Nathan Deal* (R) Jason Carter (D)Andrew Hunt (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey USA/11Alive
April 24-27, 2014
InsiderAdvantage Poll
June 24-25, 2014
Public Policy Poll (D-Better Georgia)
July 11-13, 2014
Landmark (R)
July 15, 2014
Landmark (R)
July 25, 2014
August 12-13, 2014
Landmark (R)
August 20-21, 2014
Abt SRBI Inc/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 8-11, 2014
Landmark (R)
September 9-11, 2014
September 10-11, 2014
AVERAGES 42.44% 42.51% 5.76% 8.39% +/-3.43 955.9
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Nathan Deal vs. Jason Carter
Governor of Georgia
Poll Nathan Deal* (R) Jason Carter (D)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Better Georgia/Public Policy Polling
October 7-8, 2013
InsiderAdvantage Poll
January 6, 2014
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Poll
January 6-9, 2014
Public Policy Polling (D-Better Georgia)
February 19-20, 2014
Insider Advantage/Fox 5 Atlanta/Morris News Service
March 9-10, 2014
Landmark Communications/Rosetta Stone
March 30, 2014
Public Policy Polling (D-MoveOn)
April 1-4, 2014
Hicks Evaluation Group
August 8-10, 2014
AVERAGES 43.5% 38.75% 17.5% +/-3.89 655.38
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign media

One - posted 11/8/13

Goal - posted 5/1/14

Move - posted 5/15/14

Race background

Republican incumbent Nathan Deal is seeking a second term in 2014. He easily overtook two challengers for the Republican nomination in the May 20 primary.[22]

Deal faces uncontested Democratic nominee Jason Carter, a state Sen. and the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.[23] Also on the general election ballot, the Libertarian Party nominated businessman and geologist Andrew Hunt for the office.[24]

During Deal's controversial first term, he weathered ethics investigations and intense backlash of Democrats nationwide for his support of high profile pieces of conservative legislation, particularly regarding gun rights. An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Deal as the 4th most conservative governor in the country.[25]

Deal has been targeted for protection by the Republican Governors Association, which spent $500,000 on an ad touting the incumbent following the primary election. The Democratic Governors Association is expected to spend substantially in the months leading up to the general election to help Carter retake the seat for the Democrats. In August, The Cook Political Report upgraded the competitiveness rating of the 2014 Georgia Gubernatorial race from "Likely Republican" to "Toss-Up."[26]


See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

In the July 20 primary Deal came in second to Karen Handel, receiving 22.9% of the vote to her 34.1%. The two met in a runoff election held August 10, with Deal winning 50.2% to 49.8%.

Deal faced Democrat Roy E. Barnes and Libertarian John H. Monds in the general election on November 2, 2010, defeating them.[1]

  • General election[27]
Governor of Georgia, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Roy E. Barnes 43% 1,107,011
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngNathan Deal 53% 1,365,832
     Libertarian John H. Monds 4% 103,194
     NA Write-in 0% 124
Total Votes 2,576,161

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Deal is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Deal raised a total of $10,369,622 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[28]

Nathan Deal's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Georgia Not up for election $1,815,409
2010 Governor of Georgia Won $8,554,213
Grand Total Raised $10,369,622


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Nathan Deal's donors each year.[29] Click [show] for more information.


Deal teaches Sunday school and is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Gainesville. He and his wife Sandra, a teacher, have four children and six grandchildren.[30]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 "Incoming Georgia Governor Deal Names Rogers Wade to Lead Transition Team," Georgia Public Policy Foundation, November 03, 2010
  2. Nathan Deal for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed April 1, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Governor Nathan Deal - Office of the Governor, "Biography," accessed August 8, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Washington Post, "The U.S. Congress Votes Database - Nathan Deal," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
  6. Georgia Election Results, Secretary of State, "Primary Statewide Election Results," accessed May 21, 2014
  7. Project Vote Smart biographical profile of Nathan Deal
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Hill, "Ga. governor signs sweeping gun rights bill," April 23, 2014
  9. Governor Deal's State of the State Address, January 10, 2013
  10. The Governor's Budget Report Fiscal 2014 (PDF), Office of Planning and Budget, accessed January 29, 2013
  11. Mike Klein, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, "Governor Deal Pushes Medicaid Fix; Proposes $19.8 billion budget," January 17, 2013
  12. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  13. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  14. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Perdue will back Gingrich for president in 2012," March 21, 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Georgia Governor Eliminates 14,000 Jobs; First Budget Makes Big Cuts," Georgia Public Policy Foundation, January 13, 2011
  16. News Channel, "Nathan Deal gets perks after tax breaks," June 19, 2011
  17. 17.0 17.1 Business, "Delta gives Ga. gov perks after getting tax break," June 19, 2011
  18. The Washington Post, "Resignation ends ethics probe of ex-Rep. Nathan Deal," April 10, 2013
  19. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  20. On The Issues, "Nathan Deal Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  21. Public Policy Polling, "Georgia Miscellany," December 7, 2012
  22. Georgia Election Results, Secretary of State, "Primary Statewide Election Results," accessed May 21, 2014
  23. Jason Carter for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed November 8, 2013
  24. Andrew Hunt for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed May 2, 2014
  25. New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
  26. NationalJournal, "In Governors' Races, Parties Are Spending Money in Surprising Places," September 2, 2014
  27. Georgia Secretary of State, "2010 General Election Results:Governor," accessed January 18, 2013
  28. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Nathan Deal," accessed July 8, 2013
  29. Follow the
  30. Office of the Governor of Georgia, " Biography," accessed July 24, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Sonny Perdue (R)
Governor of Georgia
2011 - present
Succeeded by