Ga. Gov. Deal in driver's seat at state Capitol

Ga. Gov. Deal in driver's seat at state Capitol

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By BILL BARROW
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Most political observers say Gov. Nathan Deal is well-positioned as he begins his third year in office on the way the 2014 election.

Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon argues that the Republican governor is vulnerable. But many Democrats concede the open U.S. Senate seat will be their top target.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats say Deal has proved he can effectively navigate the legislature and avoid strife within his party. He easily won approval for a plan to avoid steep cuts to Medicaid without legislators having to approve a tax. He is quietly negotiating for a new stadium in downtown Atlanta without asking legislators to raise the state debt ceiling.

And he's kept tea party conservatives happy by not implementing key components of President Barack Obama's 2010 health insurance overhaul.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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