Former secretary of state Karen Handel, who lost the 2010 GOP runoff for governor, just announced her candidacy in the 2014 race for Senate.
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 was criticized in 2010 by Georgia Right to Life for her opposition to the group’s proposed restrictions on in vitro fertilization, and her contention that rape and incest should remain legally sanctioned reasons for abortion.
But she gained standing among some pro-life groups last year, when she quit her executive job with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure after the organization backed away from a plan to sever ties with Planned Parenthood – which Handel had endorsed. She wrote a book about her experience, and has been a featured speaker before conservative groups across the country.
“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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