- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie offered his encouragement to Georgians working to re-elect incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday during a visit to the state and promised to be back.

The Republican Governors Association, chaired by Christie, has dumped about $2.6 million into the tight race between Deal and Democrat Jason Carter, a state senator from Atlanta and former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson. Libertarian Andrew Hunt also is on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Christie and Deal spoke from the steps of the Roswell City Hall, before driving to a nearby street festival where people surrounded Christie asking for photos and urging him toward a presidential run.

“Appreciate all of you working hard for the old party,” Christie told a group of Deal campaign staffers and volunteers after posing for a group photo.

Christie declined any interviews during the stop.

Democrat Jason Carter told reporters after a campaign event earlier Thursday that Deal has to count on support from outside the state because his record in Georgia is weak.

“I think you’ve seen the governor is relying on Washington politics in order to run this race, that kind of politics you get from New Jersey,” Carter said. “Again, it puts politics first and people second.”

The Democratic Governors Association by comparison has sent $41,000 to the state, but Carter brushed off questions about their financial support.

“We feel like given the governor’s record, and our vision for the state, and the response that we’ve had across the state so far, and the governor’s desperation in a variety of contexts lately, that we’re in a very strong position,” Carter said. “And we’re not waiting for any cavalry to come. We’re going to solve the problems here in Georgia.”


Associated Press Writer Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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