Sonny Perdue endorses former aide in race for GOP chair

John Watson was Sonny Perdue's campaign consultant when the Bonaire Republican upended Georgia politics by becoming, in 2003, the first Republican governor since Reconstruction and was later Perdue's chief of staff.

So it may not be a surprise that now-Agriculture Secretary Perdue has endorsed Watson, now a lobbyist, in his bid to become the next chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.

"Let(s) remind ourselves that it has been 15 years since Republicans became victorious in Georgia, thanks to passionate believers like you and many others," Perdue wrote to delegates to this weekend's GOP convention, where the next chairman will be chosen. "And after that record of successes, organizations tend to get complacent, and I’m afraid we may be in that category.

"I don’t want that to happen. That’s why I am strongly supporting JOHN WATSON as your next Chair, among several fine people who are also offering themselves."

Those "fine people" are Michael Welsh, the former chairman of the 12th District GOP, Alex Johnson, a DeKalb County attorney, and Michael McNeely, the first vice-chairman of the state GOP.

Read Perdue's full letter on Watson's campaign site. Without Watson, Perdue said, there would have been no Perdue governorship.

The chairman's election is Saturday in Augusta.

Read more on the race for GOP chair:

Sixth District becomes an edgy topic in race for Georgia GOP chair

How Donald Trump has shaped the race to lead Georgia’s GOP

Why a contender for Georgia GOP chair voted in Democratic primaries

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