Palin posted a short message on her Facebook page yesterday outlining why she decided to endorse Handel:
I’m proud to lend my support to a great commonsense conservative woman running for Governor this year in the Peach State. My recent visit back to this beautiful area allowed me to meet more of the patriotic Americans who call Georgia home and who are ready for a reformer to help strengthen their families, businesses, state and, ultimately, our United States. Karen Handel is that reformer.
There’s no mention of Handel’s former membership in the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group, or the nasty campaigning between Handel and fellow Republican gubernatorial hopeful and former Congressman Nathan Deal (who has brought up Handel’s support of gay issues on the campaign trail).
Deal responded to Palin’s endorsement by calling Handel the most “liberal Republican” in the race in a statement released last night.
Deal’s statement also brought up Handel’s support for YouthPride, an outreach program to LGBT youth, as a poor reason for the endorsement. Deal has been hitting Handel pretty hard for her “support” of LGBT issues during her previous campaigns for Fulton County Commission, although she has denied that support in her races for secretary of state and now governor.
Fortunately, according to Pollster.com, Deal isn’t doing that great. Deal is in a distant third place behind Handel and John Oxendine amongst likely voters as we move closer to the July 20 primary.
Unfortunately, Oxendine isn’t really that gay-friendly either. Here’s a campaign commercial released yesterday calling Handel a “liberal democrat” referencing her support for domestic partnership benefits. As Insurance Commissioner, sought to prevent domestic partner benefits in Georgia; the city of Atlanta eventually sued over Oxendine’s repeated rejections and won a court decision against Oxendine, paving the way for DP benefits to be available in the state.