Familiar Georgia political family names are expected in Perry tonight as Republican Senatorial nominee David Perdue, cousin of the Peach State’s former governor Sonny Perdue, and Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn face off at the Georgia National Fairgrounds.
Following the Senatorial debate, the Gubernatorial candidates will spar one another. Democrat Jason Carter, former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Republican Nathan Deal, and Libertarian Andrew Hunt will hash it out.
Along with Libertarian nominee Amanda Swafford, Perdue, a business man, and Nunn, a non-profit executive, are battling for the open seat recently vacated by retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Nunn set the stage for attacks on her campaign midway into the summer after leaked campaign strategy documents from Nunn’s campaign surfaced in July, National Review, first reported. The memo summarized perceived weaknesses the Democrat could be attacked with, like being “too liberal” or not being a “real Georgian.”
The Nunn campaign, similar to other Democrats in conservative states, presents the candidate as more moderate than a typical Northeastern liberal Democrat, but Nunn’s backers include Michael Bloomberg’s gun control organization as well as Emily’s List and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s PAC.
In fact, last month Emily’s list put out an ad for Nunn attacking Perdue regarding a discrimination lawsuit filed by female managers at Dollar General while Perdue was CEO of the discount retailer. According to Politifact, the lawsuit was later settled after Perdue left the company for $18.75 million. Additionally, Perdue was never named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
However, the Perdue campaign struck back at Nunn for gender discrimination pay of her own.
Two weeks ago, Georgia State Rep. Lynne Riley hand delivered a letter signed by 14 other Georgia women to Michelle Nunn’s campaign demanding Nunn come clean with Georgia voters about the two employment discrimination complaints identified in her own campaign memo.
Nunn, though, claimed she was unaware of the complaints and that the records are public. That is not the only issue Nunn may have to answer for tonight from her campaign memo. As a non-profit executive, Nunn’s salary went up as 95 employees lost their jobs within three years after Hands On Network and Points of Light Foundation merged in 2007.
The Nunn campaign smacked back at Perdue on Tuesday attacking him for comments he made about “outsourcing” in 2005, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Perdue told reporters at the White House restaurant in Buckhead he spent “most of his career” outsourcing. When asked how he defends those statements, Perdue responded, “Defend it? I’m proud of it,” he said. “This is a part of American business, part of any business. Outsourcing is the procurement of products and services to help your business run. People do that all day.”
His comments were made as a result of a deposition taken as part of bankruptcy litigation against Pillowtex, a now defunct textile company Perdue was hired to turn around in 2002.
Both Georgia senatorial and gubernatorial debates can be watched online at 7:00 PM EST tonight.