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Georgia Governor’s Office Warns GOP Candidates Not to Ruin Bid for Amazon

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Deal Aide: “When They Speak, Those Headlines Go as Quick and Far as the CEO’s Desk” 

In case you missed it, the extreme far-right Republicans running for governor in Georgia are threatening to derail the state’s bid for the new Amazon headquarters. All four candidates have pledged to sign an extreme anti-LGBT law that Gov. Nathan Deal previously vetoed in response to pressure from the business community.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Deal’s office is working with the campaigns, pleading with them to moderate their positions and hold their tongues.

Read excerpts below or the entire article HERE.

AJC: Georgia governor’s aide warns GOP candidates not to ruin bid for Amazon 

Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aide urged the candidates in the crowded gubernatorial field to strike a cautious note next year with “religious liberty” proposals and other socially conservative legislation, warning that embracing contentious measures could imperil the state’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.

There are concerns about the rhetoric in a political campaign, about what’s being spoken,” said Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff.

…All four of the leading Republican candidates for governor – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, former state Sen. Hunter Hill and state Sen. Michael Williams – have pledged to sign the legislation. They contend it would help protect people of faith from government intrusion.

…Riley said Deal’s office will “continue to work with those campaigns and ask them to remember when they speak, those headlines go as quick and far as the CEO’s desk.” Of corporate executives, he added: “If I told you they weren’t paying attention, I’d be fibbing.”

Later in the program, Riley made a veiled reference to an unnamed contender – we’re guessing it was Williams, who has taken some of the more provocative stances – when he talked about the volatile political atmosphere. 

“One candidate is acting crazy,” he said. “He’s seriously out there on the edge.”

Riley confirmed the state has a “very aggressive offer on the table” he said, alluding to the collection of incentives that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed earlier said was likely the “most aggressive economic attraction package” in state history.

…And he said state leaders have a calming answer to corporate chieftains at Amazon and other firms – he said four to eight major deals are in the works – who worry about culturally conservative legislation: “Look at what we’ve done – not at the what if.”

Still, he added, the return of the “religious liberty” measure – which has been at the center of more than four years of debate at the statehouse – isn’t the only controversial proposal he worries could ding the state’s reputation during next year’s legislative session. 

“I stay awake at night a lot,” he quipped.