(CNN) - Less than two weeks before Georgia's Republican gubernatorial runoff, a rough campaign is getting tougher.
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's up with a new television commercial highlighting her gender and touting her conservative credentials while attacking her opponent, former Rep. Nathan Deal. And Deal's campaign is firing back.
"One carries a purse. The other carries baggage. One whom Sarah Palin says has cut government, and is the true conservative. Or the other, who added trillions to our national debt. One a conservative reformer. One a corrupt relic of Washington DC. Karen Handel is Georgia's strong conservative," says the narrator in the ad.
Handel was endorsed before the July 20 primary by Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. Palin's backing appeared to quiet some on the right who criticized Handel as not being conservative enough and appeared to help Handel rise in the final polls conducted before the primary.
Handel came out on top in that contest, capturing 34 percent of the vote in an eight candidate field. Deal finished second with 23 percent of the vote. Since no candidate won 50 percent, Handel and Deal, the top two finishers, moved onto an August 10 runoff. Since the primary, former Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has also endorsed Handel. Deal has the backing of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
"Karen Handel has never done a positive ad. She's just continuing her line of attack. She has no new ideas for Georgia," says Deal campaign spokesman Brian Robinson. "Nathan has one of the strongest records on fiscal conservatism that you will find."
Handel's ad, her first commercial of the runoff campaign, refers to accusations that Deal used his position in politics to make deals with the state of Georgia that earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Deal says he's not the target of a federal investigation currently looking into a meeting he had last year at the state capitol.
"I think it is somewhat ironic that this surfaces after the original primary and just a couple of weeks before the runoff. I think you recognize that it is being used as a political tool," Deal told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The winner of the Republican runoff will face off in November against former Gov. Roy Barnes, who easily captured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
I totally disagree with Gloria Borger blog (today)
Republicans having tough primaries their laundry baskets are full now early voting only 4% voters turn out because they are talking about Tax, Illegal immigrants, federal governments is our enemy and they like guns they are not talking about JOBS this is a big weak point republicans have
In Tenseness one republican candidate’s husband suing other republican candidate
There is cloud above democrats now its start moving
Another lying, mentally delayed women running for office.
........Handel......better havdel her campaign with kid gloves...........
someone could look at all the voter fixes...............ya' know.
russ limbum take your daughter sara and your brother macaine and ride off in alaska when there is 6 months of dark ness so we do not have to look at you
The scariest sentence in this entire article: "Palin's backing appeared to quiet some on the right who criticized Handel as not being conservative enough and appeared to help Handel rise in the final polls conducted before the primary."
And Palin has so much credibility....too funny! Packing a purse; I'm so impressed I can hardly stand it. That's quite a credential.
After carefully reviewing the above article, the candidates' bio, the fact that Palin considers Handel a 'true conservative', and that Deal apparrently 'carries baggage'. I have come to the conclusion that neither Republican is 'mature enough' for the job in which they seek. However my friends in Georgia, do not despair, there is some good news! I've read Gov. Roy Barnes, the Democrat! So far I see 'no baggage', no scandels, not even a hint of corruption, controversy, and/or polarization. I have come to the conclusion that Gov. Roy Barnes will become the winner in the general election, unless he screws up.
Do we ever get to hear ideas and solutions from the Neocons? The empty bantering & whining seems to attract those who are too lazy to educate or think for themselves. Speaking in "Palinese" has gotten seriously old.
Palin vs Gingrich, a Clash of the Titans! sorry mitt, no offense. Handel 2010!
Mr. Deal, keep firing back, with words, NOT GUNS, as the alaska hag would......NO HANDEL.......PERIOD
Perfect tabloid news!!
What makes Ms Palin's opinion important to anyone? How does what little experience she has in government have any retionship to Georgia.
I'm being very crude here and i apologize upfront to the many wonder Geaogians I know- but using her as a gauge for qualifications only adds to the stero-type of the backwards south.
Think for yourselves and stop listening to this political loser. If the woman really cared about this country, she would not have quit mid-term and cost her state millions in change-over costs. She is a good stand up comedian and thst is it.
backed by palin is a sure path 2 victory.
ANYONE Palin endorses is an extremist nutjob and the voters should run from. More than 75% of Americans don't think Palin is qualified for any govt office, so why would you listen to who Palin would endorse for important govt roles?
Vote Democratic and know you are voting for your own best interests. Democrats are the Party of the People and have delivered solid and great solutions for working families. President Obama has saved our economy, stopped job losses, has jobs on the rise, has handled all Republicans messes with great success and great leadership. The world again respects the United States because of him.
If given the chance, Republicans will tear this nation apart again and will find ourselves back in a huge Depression.
Stand up for America's future and vote for the Democrats.
Ewwww - "one carries a purse and the other carries baggage"???? That's as cheesy and cringe-inducing as "mama grizzlies." As a professional woman with an advanced degree, I find all things Palin nauseating and feel that her anti-intellectualism and reliance on a "wink and a smile" takes women backwards. Go away already and let some real female leaders who want to move us forward take over.
That kind of add only works in redneck states like GA and AL and SC and TX and Mississippi. Oh my lord, they are all in the south! Surprise, surprise. Failin Palin's brand does not work anywhere else. Only in the south is the population sufficiently undereducated. They don't want to be stupid; it has just been bred into them. As someone said in another thread, do they grow these morons in pods?
Have you ever noticed that the loudest and most irresponsible screamers come from the southern half of our nation? Is it the heat or the the humidity or both?
I would rather carry baggage then have a brain full of hate and ignorance. Sarah Palin has done more to divide this country then any other republican in history. She must be very proud. Go home red-nedk hillbilly and stay there.
A palin pick is a good reason to vote against