Karen Handel considering challenge to Saxby Chambliss

November 26, 2012

Karen Handel shortly after resigning as vice president for public policy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. (John Bazemore -- AP)

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel is considering a primary challenge against Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

Handel became a national figure in 2012 while serving as vice president of public policy at the Susan B. Komen Foundation. Handel supported the group's decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. After a backlash, the group reversed course, and Handel resigned, going on to write a book about the experience. 

A former Handel consultant told the Weekly Standard last week that his old boss was thinking about a bid. 

She's not the only Republican who might take on Chambliss, who has earned conservative ire by reaching across the aisle. (He's one of the prominent Republicans challenging Grover Norquist right now.) Reps. Tom Price, Paul Broun and Tom Graves are all considered potential contenders. 

Handel lost narrowly to Nathan Deal in a 2010 gubernatorial runoff. Handel's antiabortion credentials were questioned in that race, in part because of her Fulton County Commission vote that approved $400,000 in funding for Planned Parenthood. After her experience at Komen, she will likely have more social conservative support. 

But if Price runs, Handel is likely to stay out of the race. The congressman was the only member of Georgia's delegation to support her bid for governor.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · November 26, 2012