JERUSALEM — A few hundred prominent members of Georgia’s Jewish community sipped wine and munched on hummus outside Jerusalem’s Israel Museum as they prepared to return home. But first, they were bid farewell by a surprising guest.
Gov. Nathan Deal strode to the podium amid applause to tell the visitors, who had each paid thousands of dollars for an exclusive tour of the Holy Land, why he picked Israel as his sole election-year trade mission.
“It’s all about building relationships,” the governor said with a smile. “And we have a great record so far.”
Deal’s five-day trip to Israel was designed to court business leaders, but the political resonance is unmistakable. Jewish Georgians have long been reliable Democratic voters, but Deal’s campaign seeks to make inroads this year by tapping a vein of discomfort around Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign.
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