Under Gov. Nathan Deal’s leadership, Georgia has risen to become the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business, a goal achieved by creating the Competitiveness Initiative, reforming our tax code, shaping our educational system to support our workforce needs and recruiting businesses to relocate here.
As Georgia’s 82nd governor since January 2011, he has cut state taxes, eliminated state agencies, reduced the state government workforce, saved HOPE from the brink of bankruptcy, championed education innovations and implemented significant cost-saving reforms in our criminal justice system. He fought to increase public safety on our waterways, improved our workforce by aiding veterans and technical college students and enacted stricter rules on lobbying to boost public trust.
Though he has reduced the size of state government, Gov. Deal has prioritized education and child safety funding as state revenues rebound from the Great Recession. In 2014, the governor increased k-12 spending by more than half a billion dollars, the largest increase in education in seven years, and in his 2015 State of the State address he proposed the creation of a new Opportunity School District to rescue failing schools. As concerned about our children’s safety as he is about their education, Gov. Deal has also started a three-year plan to add nearly 500 new child welfare case workers at DFCS.
Gov. Deal’s public service to his state spans four decades. The Sandersville native served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon in Augusta after graduating with a law degree from Mercer University, and then began a private law practice in Gainesville, the hometown of his wife, Sandra Dunagan Deal. While his wife taught in Hall County public schools, the governor began a long span of service to his community as prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. congressman.
During his 17 years in Congress, Deal rose to chair the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce, where he became a noted expert on entitlement reform and health care policy.
Deal ended his congressional career to campaign for governor, becoming the Republican nominee in August 2010 and then winning the governorship in November of that year. In November 2014, Deal was re-elected to a second term in office. He was sworn in again as governor on Jan. 12, 2015.
The governor and first lady have four adult children and six grandchildren.