Deal to return to Georgia GOP convention after missing last year's event

What a difference a year makes.

Gov. Nathan Deal is returning to the Georgia GOP convention next weekend, with plans to attend the Augusta event's June 2 opening dinner.

He missed the two-day convention last year, citing a long-planned ceremony to honor the state's high school valedictorians.

It also was opportune timing: Some Republican activists were seeking to rebuke Deal for his vetoes of "religious liberty" and campus gun legislation.

(Deal argued that he couldn't be in two places at once and, in a fiery outburst, assailed your Insider for our coverage of his no-show: “I’ll send you a dictionary so you can learn how to spell valedictorian.”)

Whatever the reason for last year's absence, grassroots activists aren't as fired up about Deal as they seemed in 2016.

For one, he signed a version of the "campus carry" legislation that many have long sought. And the "religious liberty" legislation stalled this year after leading legislators rallied with Deal to block it.

As noted in last year's coverage - it really is worth a look back at it - he didn't miss much: The convention wound up approving a resolution that was only mildly critical of Deal’s vetoes of the “religious liberty” and “campus carry” legislation.

More: Nathan Deal slams AJC, Georgia Republicans over convention fallout

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About the Author

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