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Did Deal just hand the governor’s race to Cagle?
As Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and House Speaker David Ralston faced the crowd at a capitol news conference last week, they were all grinning like Cheshire cats. The widest grin of all may been the one sported by Cagle, and little wonder. After all, Deal was about to make an announcement that could very well wrap up the governor’s race for Cagle. Deal, Cagle, and Ralston had agreed on a bill (HB 918) that would lower Georgia’s top income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.75 percent for the 2018 tax year, and then potentially cut it to 5.5 percent the year after if the Legislature determined it wouldn’t blow a hole in the state budget. The bill would double the standard deduction Georgians could take on their tax returns -- for married couples filing joint returns, it would go from $3,000 to $6,000.