Karen Handel, the former secretary of state of Georgia, has raised $200,000 in the past two weeks for her campaign for Senate, according to a spokesman. The cash-strapped Republican, who is facing better financed primary opponents, has raised more in that time than she had in the previous quarter.
Helping boost Handel in her five-way GOP primary is former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who recently endorsed Handel and traveled to Georgia on Friday for a public appearance. About half of the campaign's two-week haul has come after Palin's appearance. Palin also endorsed Handel in her 2010 bid for governor. Handel lost the primary to Nathan Deal, who went on to win the general election.
Another boon for the Handel campaign was the revelation last week that businessman David Perdue, one of the leading candidates for the GOP nomination, dismissed Handel for only having a high-school diploma at a meeting with voters in January. Handel came from an abusive home, left home when she was 17, and never finished her college education.
In a fundraising email for the Handel campaign this morning, former state party chair Sue Everhart implored supporters to donate at least $10 to receive a pair of campaign-emblazoned bootstraps. "Georgians across our state are understandably offended," Everhart wrote. "But guess who's not upset? Michelle Nunn and the Democrats. They are smiling at the thought of running against an out-of-touch, multi-millionaire CEO who lives in a gated oceanfront community."
Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, is the presumptive Democratic nominee for the seat. Democrats are eyeing Georgia's open Senate seat, currently held by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, as a possible pick-up in an otherwise dismal year for the party. As her first ad demonstrates, Nunn will likely run as a moderate.
Joining Handel and Perdue in the GOP primary are congressmen Jack Kinsgston, Paul Broun, and Phil Gingrey. Kingston, who has been polling in second behind Perdue, has released a new ad featuring an impersonator of Barack Obama leaving a voice mail asking the congressman to back off of Obamacare.
The primary will be on May 20.