The two remaining Republican gubernatorial candidates met for a televised debate last night on Fox 5 Atlanta. Moderated by Russ Spencer, the debate covered a wide range of issues, including the anti-gay tone of the primary campaigns.
During the general primary, Deal released one of the most anti-gay commercials of the race that claimed Handel supported gay adoptions and domestic partner benefits. Handel spent a large portion of the early campaign denying her alleged support of gay issues as well as her involvement with gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans.
Gay issues discussed as Handel, Deal square off in televised debate
When Spencer asked Deal specifically about the commercial, and called him out for its misleading message, Deal skirted the issue:
“Ms. Handel throughout the campaign attacked all of us. She called Eric Johnson a corrupt politician. She attacked everybody. It’s one of these campaigns where everybody’s a crook but her she says. Now, I don’t think the people of this state believe that. This is a campaign where we ought to be talking about the issues. That’s what I’ve tried to do and that’s what I will do during this runoff period. It is unfortunate that we are seeing a continual ever-increasing negative campaign from Ms. Handel. I think that’s an indication that if you don’t have any issues you can talk about then try to crucify your opponent. That has been her attack consistently in her campaign.”
Handel avoided the subject by raising Deal’s ethics, calling them a “key differentiator” between the candidates.
The debate also included discussions on jobs, taxes, abortion and immigration.
The run-off will be held Tuesday, August 10.
Check out the video below for the complete debate.