June 4, 2013

Pennington close on gubernatorial decision

Charles Oliver

— Dalton Mayor David Pennington said he isn’t quite ready to announce whether he will run for governor next year. But he said he has been encouraged by his travels across the state.

Pennington has spent the past two months crisscrossing the state meeting with conservative leaders and civic groups about challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican primary in 2013.

“We’ve had real positive feedback,” he said.

In a story published April 2, Pennington told The Daily Citizen he would make a decision on whether he would run for governor within the next 60 days. But Pennington now says he doesn’t expect to make that decision for a couple of more weeks.

“We are moving along. We still don’t have all the information we want yet. But we hope by the middle of the month to have everything in order to make a decision,” he said Monday. “We are definitely in the homestretch.”

Pennington says he’s still considering personnel and strategy.

 “We’ve been meeting with different people as far as a possible campaign team. We’ve also been looking at what our strategy would be to challenge an incumbent, which is not easy.”

Pennington campaigned vigorously last year across Georgia against referendums that would have created 10-year, 1 percent regional Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes (SPLOSTs) to fund transportation programs. Those referendums lost in nine of the state’s 12 regions, including locally, and Pennington said earlier this year that people he met during that battle urged him to run for governor.

Pennington is in his second term as Dalton’s mayor. He was first elected mayor in 2007.