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Deal, GOP stop at RJs
Republican bus tour crisscrossing state
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Janelle Anderson, left, gets a hug from Sandra Deal as husband and Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal, right, visits R.J.'s Seafood & Steaks Wednesday during a campaign stop with other GOP candidates.

Just as the sun was setting Wednesday evening the Georgia Republican Party's "Real Jobs for Georgia" bus tour pulled into Statesboro. The tour stopped at RJ's Seafood and Steaks for a meet and greet with local residents.

Early voting ends Friday and Election Day is Tuesday.

On board were eight GOP candidates, including gubernatorial-nominee Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra and 12th District Congressional candidate Raymond McKinney and his wife Lisa.

Waiting for them were more than 100 Bulloch residents, many of whom watched the debates and the TV ad campaigns and wanted to speak with the candidates in person. Among them were locals Donna Hellberg and Deborah Fordham.

Hellberg and Fordham told Deal and his wife how they disapproved of the ads attacking Deal and his family from former Gov. Roy Barnes, the Democratic nominee.

"I cannot believe that they would attack a man for assisting his daughter and his son-in-law," Hellberg said. "What has really impressed me was the fact that Mr. Deal never attacked Barnes back in his ads, but instead stayed focused on what he has done as a Georgia Congressman and what if elected he plans to do."

Bulloch County Republican Chairman Lawton Sack and Georgia Southern College Republican Chairman Cody Randall welcomed the overflow crowd and introduced Deal to the crowd. He shared with the crowd that they had left Marietta on Sunday afternoon and hadn't stopped since, or at least that's how it seemed.

In addition to Deal and McKinney, on the bus for the end-of-campaign tour are candidates Tim Echols (public service commission); Dr. John Barge (state school superintendent); Gary Black (agriculture commissioner); Sam Olens (attorney general); Johnny Isakson (senate); and Stan Gunter (appeals court judge).

When it was McKinney's turn to address the crowd, he shared that some consider Georgia's 12th District Congressional race as one race to possibly have an upset Republican victory. McKinney is opposed by incumbent Democrat John Barrow. McKinney then went on to talk about how Sarah Palin's endorsement of him a short while back had brought him a great deal of national attention.

McKinney spoke about how he has crisscrossed the district with his wife non-stop for months now. He said that wherever he stops he finds people who are sick and tired of what's going on in Washington. He said they tell him they "are happy to finally meet someone who is determined to make the changes needed to save our nation and its people from financial ruin."

The candidates then get back on board the bus and headed to Augusta for a rally this morning.


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