Palin-Backed Georgia Guv Candidate Leads Primary

Endorsement boosts Karen Handel to first place
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2010 4:41 AM CDT
Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel speaks with a voter in Roswell, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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(Newser) – An endorsement by Sarah Palin helped push candidate Karen Handel to first place in yesterday's Georgia gubernatorial GOP primary. Handel, who trailed in opinion polls before getting Palin's stamp of approval earlier this month, led with 34% of the vote, and is headed into a runoff against Nathan Deal, who garnered 23% of the vote, Reuters reports.

"Handel's success will make Palin's endorsement even more desirable for candidates in other states," said a Georgia political scientist who compared Handel's boost to the help South Carolina's Nikki Haley got from a Palin endorsement. Perhaps the next candidate to benefit will be New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte, who won the former Alaska's governor endorsement yesterday.

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