CL's crack team of scribes and political pundits will travel from party to party to dig up dirt, taste food that's been sitting under heat lamps, and watch political junkies bite their nails as Georgia learns who got hired and fired. Drinking game rules follow after the jump at the bottom of the post.
11:56 p.m. Welp. I guess that's it. Deal just gave his victory speech. He said, among other things, "Georgia has put its faith in the Republican Party and we’re not going to let them down. But tomorrow work starts all over again. It’s a job I have welcomed and wanted, and I assure you I will put forth my best effort. Were going to make you proud of what this State can be. I’m just so proud."
11:49 p.m. According to Deal, Barnes has conceded.
11:46 p.m. Deal takes the stage, takes the crowd by surprise and they all go wild ...
11:06 p.m. Soon-to-be-former Governor Sonny Perdue is here, kissin' hands and shakin' babies.
10:45 Scott here. The elephants at Le Grand Hyatt are positively giddy. A guy with one of the most piercing Hee-Haw voices I've ever heard just announced that former state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton had taken the District 8 Congressional seat from incumbent Jim Marshall. The guy, who's been holding a broom the whole time, tries to start a chant: "Sweep the state! Sweep the state!" But the crowd isn't going for it. More soon.
10:32 Scott Henry and I made our way up to the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead for the Repub's party. It's big, crowded and very white. Oh, and we spotted John Oxendine. Remember when Scott described him as "washboard-coiffed"? So true.
9:27 p.m.: Here's that video of Roy Barnes saying he doesn't expect a runoff and has no regrets about the campaign. Notice he comments on the instantaneous transmission of information. Kind of like this, if ya think real hard about it.
9:08 p.m. Folks outside Barnes' Ballroom are watching Rand Paul make his victory speech on the tube. As one chagrined if optimistic observer said, "This might be the best thing that could happen for Democrats." We'll see.
8:35 p.m.A sunglasses-wearing Libertarian is now singing James Taylor's "Steamroller" to the crowd. The volume is deafening. Time to start getting the hell out of here and heading elsewhere! Preferably with better wifi!
Oh, and Deal leads Barnes 56-41 in the gubernatorial race. Libertarian John Monds has 3 percent of the vote, with 14 percent reporting.
8:30 p.m.: Gwynedd again. So, I saw a bunch of newsy types getting onto an elevator with a police escort, so I figured I should probably g'head and follow them up (keep in mind I'm not even wearing press credentials). Anyway, I got a nice little interview with Roy Barnes in his hotel room. I'm going to try to post the video here shortly (crappy video I took with my digital camera), but in the meantime, Barnes says he has no butterflies, does not believe there will be a run-off — the only people hoping for that, he says, are the news channels — and has no regrets about the way he ran his campaign, saying it's the best he's ever run.
8:10 p.m. Greetings! Thomas here. I'm at the Georgian Terrace, where the Libertarian Party of Georgia has set up shop. Waiters are walking around with Bruschetta, party loyalists are sipping beers, and a small group of journalists and bloggers are banging their fists against the keyboards. When I say "small" I mean, well, me and Jason Pye.
But where does the party go from here? How does it move past being the party that's always coming in third — and start winning over Democrats and Republicans? One step, says Barr: Members need to invest more into the party to make its message heard by more people.
7:58 p.m.: Hey, all. Gwynedd here, checking in from the glamourous Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference center in Midtown where Carol Porter (Lieutenant Governor), Mary Squires (Insurance Commish), Daryl Hicks (Labor Commish) and, the big guy, gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes are hosting their soirees.
I spoke with Mary Squires briefly ... ugh ... sorry. Just saw on CNN that Rubio won the Senate seat in Florida and barfed all over my cute dress ... OK, so, spoke with Mary Squires briefly and asked her how it's going. She says she's purposely ignoring the TV, and letting her campaign manager Brandon to keep tabs.
Heading back into Barnes' ball room in a sec. Last time I checked TMZ was on one of the big screens. Love that show.
So grab yourself a case of Four Loko, open up another browser tab and head to the secretary of state's live results page, and turn on one of our local TV stations for exciting speculation and gaffe-riddled live footage.
Please also commit to memory the following rules for CL's midterm elections drinking party game, dedicated to Newt Gingrich:
* Anyone says "move Georgia forward": Drink a beer for three seconds
* "Obamacare": Chug
* "Pelosi" and/or "Reid": Chug
* Someone actually says state lawmakers have no impact whatsoever on what those two aforementioned jokers do: Two shots
* News anchor says "It's looking like a runoff": Sip a beer
* Roy Barnes mentions his cows: Two shots
* Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is caught on camera tying his shoes: Shot
* You see someone you know in the background of a live TV broadcast from Manuel's: Drink from the wine bottle while you call them on the phone telling them to do something clever
* Vernon Jones gives an interview at the GOP party: Finish that Four Loko and throw the empty can at your wall.
Oh, and here's a photo of the media lining up outside the downtown Sheraton for Michael Thurmond's party, courtesy of a tipster who requested anonymity because he's running for Pike County deputy comptroller, or something along those lines:
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