October 29, 2018 Jefferson - Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to support GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp during The Georgia Republican Party "Road to Victory" Bus Tour at Crow's Lake in Jefferson on Monday, October 29, 2018. Georgia's gubernatorial candidates are spending the final days of the race traveling across the state in search of votes. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Deal: Special session won’t aim to strip gov’s powers 

The special legislative session set for the week after the election will not include any attempt to strip his successor’s executive powers, Gov. Nathan Deal said in an interview.

The Republican called the special session last week to provide roughly $100 million in hurricane relief to hard-hit areas of southwest Georgia, as well as potentially approve a jet-fuel tax break and fund a new airport training facility.

The rare maneuver sparked whispers that lawmakers could be asked to clip the wings of a new governor should Democrat Stacey Abrams win. Many point to North Carolina, where lawmakers passed measures to curtail Roy Cooper’s powers weeks after the Democrat narrowly won in the governor’s race. 

Deal said such a move is not on the agenda “as far as I’m concerned.” Which means it won’t happen: State law lets governors strictly control the agenda that lawmakers consider. 

“That is not what the special session is called for,” he added. “It’s for Hurricane Michael and for the impact on the southwest part of the state. We cannot pay for all the losses.” 

Deal’s comments came during a joint interview on the campaign trail with Republican Brian Kemp, who is in a close race against Abrams. Kemp, who stumped with Deal at a string of stops on Monday, quickly cut in after the governor’s response. 

“We’re not going to have that problem. We’re going to win,” Kemp said. “This race isn’t in doubt. That’s a problem we’re not going to have to worry about.” 

In-person early voting in Georgia ends Nov. 2.

Read more: Deal calls Georgia legislators into session over hurricane costs

More recent AJC coverage of the race for Georgia governor:

Obama vs. Trump: A national proxy fight engulfs Georgia governor’s race 

Off the sidelines: Deal joins Kemp on Georgia trail 

Kemp targeted with his own words in new attack ad 

An all-out hunt underway for ‘unlikely’ voters in Georgia gov race 

Kemp on the leaked audio, Abrams blasts ‘assassination’ attempts and Athens bragging rights 

The Jolt: GOP has edge in a $12 million air battle for governor 

Yet another poll raises the possibility of a Georgia gov runoff 

Abrams and Kemp both back jet-fuel tax break as new vote nears 

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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.