Republican Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, gubernatorial candidate, and vice president for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, is moving closer to running for the Senate next year to succeed Republican Saxby Chambliss. Georgia political blog Peach Pundit reports:
Former Georgia Secretary of State and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel is now exploring entering the U.S. Senate race to replace Saxby Chambliss as an active possibility. Handel has been mostly quiet since Chambliss’ surprise retirement announcement, while allowing conventional wisdom to linger that she would seek the 6th District Congressional Seat presumably to be vacated by Tom Price.
The wild card at this point is Tom Price, who has said repeatedly he will not make a decision on running for Senate until May. Handel is close with Price and would likely seek his House seat if he ends up running for the Senate. With Price's plans up in the air, however, donors and activists are reportedly encouraging Handel to run for the Senate herself. A Georgia political insider tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that she will have a "professional team" lined up for a campaign in a few weeks, for either a Senate race or a House race. But if Handel believes Price will seek the Senate seat, sources say, she will almost certainly not run for Senate.
Currently, Congressman Paul Broun is the only announced candidate, though House members Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey are retaining campaign staff members. The state Republican convention, which will unofficially kick off the 2014 Senate primary race, is on May 18.