Childhood & Early Life
He was born on August 25, 1942, in Millen, Georgia to Noah J. Deal and his wife Mary Mallard, both of whom were educators.
Deal was raised in a farm in Sandersville in Washington County, Georgia. He attended ‘Mercer University’ in Macon from where he completed his graduation in 1964.
In 1966 he obtained Juris Doctor Degree from Mercer University’s ‘Walter F. George School of Law’.
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Following his law degree he was enlisted in the United States Army where he served as Captain at Fort Gordon in Augusta from 1966 to 1968. Thereafter he started private practice as an attorney and continued such practice for 23 years. He also worked as a criminal prosecutor.
He was made assistant district attorney on northeast Georgia in 1970.
In 1971 he was inducted as juvenile court judge in Hall County that marked his first judicial appointment. He served the position till 1972. He also served as a North-eastern Judicial Circuit superior court judge
On January 3, 1981, he became Member of the Georgia Senate from the 49th district as a Democrat succeeding Howard Overby. He served the position till January 3, 1993. Meanwhile in November 1990, the Democratic Party elected him to be the President Pro Tempore, the chamber’s 2nd highest position.
On January 3, 1993, he succeeded Ed Jenkins to enter the US Congress as a Democrat to become Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 9th district.
On April 11, 1995, he switched to the Republican Party after the party took control of the US House of Representatives after a gap of 40 years.
He served another eight terms in the U.S. Congress being re-elected as a Republican for the first time in 1996. During such terms in 1998, 2002 and 2004 he was re-elected unopposed.
The district he represented was renumbered from 9th to 10th in 2003 and later regained the original number in 2006, thus as per record he served as Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 9th district from January 3, 1993 to January 3, 2003 and then again from the 10th district from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2007 and finally again from the 9th district from January 3, 2007 to March 21, 2010.
During such tenure in Congress that spanned for 17 years, he forged ahead and chaired the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce proving his mettle in health care policy and entitlement reform.
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He initiated the Citizen Reform Act, H.R. 698 that would remove birthright citizenship for illegal foreigners in the US.
In March 2010, he placed his resignation and concentrated on running for Governor of Georgia. However before he moved to Georgia, he cast his last congressional vote opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As Sonny Perdue, the then incumbent Republican Governor of Georgia was restricted for re-election in 2010 due to term limit, the Republican primary election saw a race among 7 candidates. As no candidate win the primary outright in July that year, a highly competitive run-off election on August 10, 2010 followed between Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who ranked first in the primary election with 34% of the vote, and Deal, who ranked second in the primary with 23% of the vote. The close contest saw Deal win with a margin of just 2519 votes.
Competing with former governor and state senator Roy Barne, the Democratic nominee and John Monds, the Libertarian nominee in the general election, Deal emerged a winner with 53% of the vote on November 2, 2010. He assumed office as the 82nd Governor of Georgia on January 10, 2011. That year, amidst severe protests and threats, he signed HB 87 into law that enhanced the enforcement powers of Georgia regarding illegal immigration.
As a Governor he formed Competitiveness Initiatives, reformed education system to support requirement of workforce and reformed tax codes that aided the state to rise up as an ideal place to do business in the US. He also gave emphasis on education and child safety; reduced state government workforce and taxes; saved HOPE from bankruptcy; advocated for enhancing public safety on waterways; and enforced strict rules on lobbying to increase public trust among other initiatives.
He signed HB 349 into law on April 25, 2013, towards achieving criminal justice reforms. Being aided by the Council and the Vera Institute of Justice, he built far-reaching performance measures to find out effectiveness of earlier reformative strategies to make sure that such steps improve public safety as also save dollars of taxpayers. Later on April 25, 2014, he declared formation of Interfaith Council of Governor that will consist of religious leaders of the state to broaden up criminal justice reforms taken up recently.
In the 2014 gubernatorial election Deal beat two candidates in the primary election and faced Democratic State Senator Jason Carter in the general election. He defeated Carter securing 53% of the vote thereby being re-elected for a second term as Governor of Georgia.