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Friday, May 17, 2013

Karen Handel dives into 2014 U.S. Senate race

  • Handel for Senate
  • Nothing says small government like neon-green campaign branding!
And that makes four! Karen Handel has finally declared that she'll run for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat in 2014.

The former Fulton County Commission chairman, Georgia secretary of state, and gubernatorial candidate made her campaign official this morning, hours before the state's Republican convention kicked off today in Athens.

"Georgians want a conservative with the courage to take on the status quo, to fight for them and our constitutional ideals, to be accountable to them - and not Washington," Handel said in a statement.

Handel's name had been tossed around for months as a possible candidate, even long before Chambliss decided to call it quits in January. She's now the fourth official challenger vying for the Senate seat and will face off against U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, and Jack Kingston of Savannah, who have already entered the race.

As the AJC's Jim Galloway notes, Handel's campaign this week indicated that an official announcement wasn't imminent. But she likely decided it was time to enter the race with a 2014 Senate bid after former Dollar General CEO David Perdue decided he would explore a possible run and U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Alpharetta, bowed out of the contest.

Handel resigned from the Susan G. Komen Foundation in February 2012 after insisting that the nonprofit corporation pull its grant to Planned Parenthood. Last December, she went on the offensive and called Planned Parenthood "a bunch of schoolyard thugs" that wrapped themselves in a pink "cloak of legitimacy."

In addition to her pro-life stance, her platform will also focus on small business and smaller government. "Businesses, especially our small businesses, need government to get off their backs and out of the way, so that they can do what they do best: innovate and create jobs," said Handel.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats anxiously await HandsOn Atlanta co-founder and Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn's decision as to whether she'll take on her Republican foes.

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