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Nathan Deal, Ludacris

Rapper Ludacris, right, points out his mother in the crowd while speaking during a visit to the charter school Utopian Academy for the Arts with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, left, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and rapper Ludacris may seem like an odd pairing for a campaign event, but the duo was a hit with a cheering crowd of students Friday.

Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges has been an outspoken supporter of President Barack Obama, penning a profane song during the 2008 campaign criticizing his opponents. But Deal says he couldn’t think of anyone better to inspire students at the event.

Deal kept his comments short before the crowd of about 200 at the charter school Utopian Academy for the Arts, just outside Atlanta. He introduced Ludacris as students cheered and craned their necks to see him. Ludacris said he spent most of his childhood in Atlanta and encouraged students to work hard and focus on their goals.

Deal says the event wasn’t an endorsement.

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