Eaves, Deal face tough battles come November
By Titus Falodun | 5/23/2014, 10 a.m.
ATLANTA – The dust has settled on another primary election season, but things are far from over for incumbents Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
Seeking re-election, Eaves narrowly escaped his primary, as he slightly edged challenger and fellow Commissioner Robert. L. Pitts, in the Democratic Primary for nomination to the countywide District 7 seat on the commission.
A grateful Eaves released a statement late Wednesday afternoon thanking his supporters and Pitts.
“I would like to thank the voters of Fulton County who turned out to the pools on Tuesday to make their voices heard. You are essential to the political process,” he stated. “I would also like to thank Commissioner Pitts for his many decades of service to the people of Atlanta and Fulton County.
Now, I look forward to the race in November and hope to have your support to remain as your board commission chairman for the next four years.”
The narrow-margin of victory comes after a week of public back and forth with City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed over the homelessness issues of the metro area, brought to light in a Creative Loafing piece.
Nevertheless, Eaves 51 to 49 percent edge over Pitts reveals a true divide among citizens on the progress and direction of Fulton County. It also well be interesting to see where Eaves will stand come his showdown with Republican nominee Earl Cooper in November.
In the race for governor, Deal easily claimed victory over two challengers in the Republican primary. His focus is now on Democratic opponent Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.
Deal touted his improvement on the unemployment rate, the creation of jobs, and growing businesses, during his victory speech on Tuesday night.
“Approximately 258,000 new private sector jobs have been created in the last three and half years in our great state,” said Deal.
Georgia’s governor’s seat is garnering national attention, as the state has been in the public eye for positive and negative press, from the snowstorm debacle to the state’s economic growth. This national spotlight, however, is not something Deal wants to see play a part in the coming November election.
“I think Georgians are smart enough to know that they don’t want people in New York and California dictating who their governor is going to be,” Deal said to reporters.
Among his primary focus for re-election, Deal has stated his efforts to increase HOPE scholarship funding for technical college students.
He also mentioned the $300 million in additional funds for K-12 education.
“K-12 education has to be a primary focus for us,” he explained. We have a lot of great teachers in our state. We need to make sure they’re supported so they can provide the kind of positive results we all want.”
Deal’s race against Carter in November maybe a little more difficult than his GOP primary if the political pundits are correct in Georgia is becoming less of a red state during each election.
Carter has made education a major focus of his platform, using the twitter hashtag of #changethedeal.
He ran and won unopposed.
“We’ve got serious problems,” Carter said. “Forty-five thousand fewer technical college students and the governor is touting the Band-Aid that he put on that gigantic crises. The fact that he’s trying to clean up the messes he’s created demonstrates how bad it’s been over the last several years.”
Carter stated he aims to separate the funds for education and the state budget, in order to protect it during times when officials may seek may cuts or reallocate spending.
He also took shots at the governor’s record when it comes to the state’s economy.
“He must be looking at a different economy than the one the middle class is living in,” Carter said. “We are still near the bottom with regard to unemployment, with regard to poverty, with regard to any number of issues.”
The gloves are off and a long campaign looms ahead.