Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal begins his second term next year with the opportunity to take bold action to complete his historical legacy.

Deal, 72, won 53 percent of the vote last week to gain re-election in his final campaign. Not having to run again gives him “free rein” to offer far-reaching legislation, said Kerwin Swint, chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Political Science and International Affairs.

“He still wants to do some things on jobs and transportation,” said Swint, a former Republican consultant. He expects Deal to offer “a fairly ambitious agenda for his second term,” with fully restoring Georgia’s economy a major priority. A key question, though, is whether Deal with his “lame-duck status” can generate legislative support for controversial proposals.

With that in mind, Deal likely will target his plans. “He’d like do do some things, but there’s only going to be support for so many initiatives. He’ll focus on a couple of new things and not try to do too much.”

With metro Atlanta’s traffic gridlock the top concern of residents polled in an Atlanta Regional Commission survey released Friday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, freeing the roads gains force as a defining issue for Deal and the Legislature. 

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