TEA PARTY PEOPLE BACKING LIBERTARIAN FOR GOVERNOR IN GA!

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There seems to be a split in the Republican vote in Georgia. Several leaders of the TEA Party are backing Libertarian Andrew Hunt, instead of Governor Nathan Deal. The split in the party could lose the election for Deal and elect former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson.

The announcement

Here, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution, is what is happening in Georgia.

Libertarian Andrew Hunt’s campaign for governor is set to receive the endorsement of former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who tried to rally tea party supporters to his side in a failed GOP primary challenge against Gov. Nathan Deal.

Pennington plans to announce his support for Hunt at a press conference scheduled for Friday in a move that could bolster the third-party candidate’s plan to play spoiler in this year’s race for governor.

“When he was mayor, he was able to cut taxes in the budget every year and still provide as good or better service. We need cost-effective government,” Hunt said. “It’s an honor to have someone like that want to endorse me.”

Polls routinely gauge Hunt’s support between 3 percent and 7 percent, which could be enough to deprive Deal or Democrat Jason Carter of a majority and force the race into a December runoff.

Both major party campaigns hope Hunt’s support wanes as ads and rhetoric intensify in the campaign’s last stretch.

Pennington earned about 17 percent of the vote in the May primary with a message that Deal has betrayed conservatives by failing to cut taxes and spending quickly enough. He championed himself as the true conservative in the race, and after his loss, he started a newsletter that bashed Deal’s policies.

Pennington said he is backing Hunt because he is the “only limited-government conservative in the race.”

Hunt is getting ignored

Hunt has not had any real mention, as seen in this part.

The campaigns of Deal and Carter have largely ignored Hunt, though he will get statewide attention during debates scheduled later this month. The Libertarian Party of Georgia will also run an ad touting its candidate in the two weeks before Election Day, only the third time the state party has purchased television time.

Hunt and Pennington plan to appeal to other Republicans who are yet undecided on the governor’s race.

Joe McCutchen, a tea party organizer from Ellijay who backed Pennington’s campaign, said he plans to vote a split ticket: Republican David Perdue for the U.S. Senate and Hunt for governor.

“There are a lot of Republicans that told me they’ll be voting for Andrew,” McCutchen said. “That’s going to be real interesting.”

While it won’t get Hunt elected, it will make the Democrats breathe better. Hunt having this backing could cause Carter to win, like what happened in Virginia. The Libertarians are doing better in Georgia than many other states, though.

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