Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Key Trump backer endorses Watson in Georgia GOP race

The chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign in Georgia endorsed John Watson to lead the Georgia GOP in next month's contest.

Rayna Casey called Watson, a former aide to Sonny Perdue, the only contender in the four-candidate contest with a "proven record of success in winning elections."

"Why take a chance with a likeable amateur when we have a professional willing to volunteer his strategic political expertise, including raising millions, to win our elections?" she wrote in a dispatch sent to GOP activists across the state.

Watson faces three other candidates in the June 3 vote to chair the party: DeKalb attorney Alex Johnson, GOP vice-chair Michael McNeely and District 12 chair Mike Welsh. All four candidates vow to help shore up the state party's beleaguered fundraising and build out a network to keep Georgia in GOP hands.

Casey, a prolific GOP fundraiser, has become a sought-after endorsement in Georgia political races. She endorsed Republican Karen Handel on the eve of the April 18 special election. And she said she would support Nick Ayers, another former Perdue aide, should he run for governor.

McNeely's campaign, meanwhile, recently rolled out its own high-profile endorsement. Ex-presidential candidate Herman Cain, now a talk show host on WSB, said he was impressed with McNeely's poise and message. (WSB is owned by Cox Media Group, which also owns the AJC.)

"Every time I go and speak at a Republican event, he's there. He's been active, he's been out there," Cain said on WSB, adding that he has close ties to both the grassroots and the business community. "He gets it."




Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.