NRA spends big for Gov Nathan Deal’s re-election

The National Rifle Association is the latest outside group to report pouring big money into Gov. Nathan Deal’s bid to win re-election next week.

The NRA reported spending about $613,000 on radio and TV ads, mailers and a phone bank in the past few weeks supporting Deal’s bid to beat back the challenge of Atlanta state Sen. Jason Carter. The NRA also contributed $2,500 directly to Deal’s campaign, according to disclosures filed late Wednesday that cover the first three weeks of October.

Deal has long been a friend of the NRA and this year joined lawmakers in Ellijay at a ceremony to sign the so-called "guns everywhere" bill expanding where permitted gun owners can take their weapons.

Carter voted for the legislation, but the NRA announced in September that it was endorsing Deal this year.

“Nathan Deal signed into law the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation in Georgia history earlier this year,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA’s political fund, at the time. “His support helped ensure greater access for concealed carry permit holders across the state and marked a significant improvement to Georgia’s self-defense laws.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that the Republican Governors Association had plowed more than $4 million into Deal's re-election bid, as of Oct. 25. By contrast, the Democratic Governors Association had spent about $32,000 as of Sept. 30, according to disclosure reports.