Jimmy Carter to campaign with grandson

Jimmy Carter is about to step out more forcefully on the campaign trail for his grandson’s gubernatorial bid.

The former president has hosted fundraisers for state Sen. Jason Carter’s campaign and prodded donors to open up their wallets to defeat Gov. Nathan Deal. But he has, up to now, tried to take what he calls a “minimal” role on the campaign trail.

With less than four weeks to go until the election, that’s about to change.

The former president is headlining an event Sunday at an Albany church with his grandson and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, and all three will speak to the congregation.

There could be more campaign events for the ex-president, whose wife, Rosalynn, has already been roaming Georgia stumping for her grandson.

Deal campaign spokesman Brian Robinson welcomed the news. The homegrown president has won admiration for his humanitarian work outside the White House, but he remains a divisive figure for his one-term presidential record.

“We’re bipartisan,” Robinson said. “We’d like to help publicize these events.”

The governor pointed to the elder Carter’s fundraisers in other parts of the country and said “it’s about time he did so in Georgia.”

Deal said he doesn’t think the former president’s participation will make “a significant difference.”

“I think the people of this state are not going to be unduly swayed by that. I think we can respect his opinion,” the governor said. “But we are not a state nor a nation in which titles such as governor are inherited by virtue of your legacy.”

The former president told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in July that he was trying to strike a balance with his grandson’s campaign but was wary of making a high-profile incursion into the race.

“But when he asks us to do something,” Carter said, “we’ll make every effort to do so.”

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