Gov. Nathan Deal endorses Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has endorsed Casey Cagle in the Republican gubernatorial runoff.

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Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are each hoping to be Georgia's next governor, running as “Trump Conservatives,” and emphasizing their fidelity to the second amendment, immigration enforcement, and lower taxes.

Gov. Deal announced his endorsement at a news conference Monday morning. He said it's not personal and he thinks highly of both candidates. 

"My concern is let's not undo or transform in a negative fashion the good reforms that have been put in place," Deal said. "And that will be the challenge for the next governor of this state, is to not go backward but to go forwards. For that reason, I believe Casey Cagle will be the best candidate for this position as the governor of this state."

Cagle said that he wanted to "build on the foundation" that Deal had created in his eight years in office and that was honored to have Deal's endorsement.

"We've partnered together to bring great success to this state, and I believe we're in a position where -- with the right leader -- we can grow even stronger," Cagle said.

Following the endorsement, Brian Kemp released the following statement:

"Career politician Casey Cagle is collapsing in the polls and this endorsement is a last minute attempt to distract voters from the secret recording where Cagle insults conservatives and confesses to trading votes for campaign cash. I respect Governor Deal. He built on the success of Governor Perdue and I will continue that progress as Georgia’s next governor.

"Until then, I will work around the clock to earn votes from hardworking Georgians who will ultimately decide the winner of the Republican Primary Run-off on July 24th.”

The runoff election will take place on July 24.

RELATED: Cagle, Kemp square off in GPB runoff debate

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