Karen Handel, the former secretary of state of Georgia, is running for the Republican nomination for Senate next year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

She made the announcement hours before the first day of a two-day state Republican convention. She becomes the fourth formal GOP candidate for the spot, with U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston.

Handel's campaign had sent strong signals that she wouldn't enter the race this week, but that was before businessman David Perdue, also a Republican, announced the formation of an exploratory committee. Handel and Perdue share some of the same support.

Handel, the AJC's Jim Galloway goes on to note, struggled to gain support among pro-life voters in her 2010 bid for governor, leading her to lose a close primary match-up against Nathan Deal. But Handel's subsequent work at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, during which she endorsed the group pulling back from supporting Planned Parenthood, earned Handel nationwide recognition among conservatives.

Galloway has Handel's whole statement, below:

I have been incredibly fortunate and blessed in my life. Only in America could I have the life I have. I'm running for U.S. Senate because I want to make sure that the next young person who ends up on his or her own at 17 will have the opportunity to prosper and achieve. But that won't happen unless we make some big changes in Washington.

“States, especially those with Republican governors, are doing a good job -- they are balancing budgets with targeted spending cuts, creating jobs, and tackling tax reform. The biggest problems we face today are in Washington, and that's where we so desperately need fresh thinking, bold solutions, and real leadership.

“Out of control spending has left us with a crushing debt. It's time to deal with it and stop kicking the can down the road -- this cannot be the legacy we leave to future generations. So many Georgians are still unemployed or underemployed. To really unleash our economic potential, we need prosperity driven by free market solutions -- not prosperity propped up with government spending and bailouts. 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.

“Georgians want a conservative Senator 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.”

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