Rep. Tom Price will decide on Georgia Senate race in May

February 11, 2013

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) announced Monday that he will delay a decision on whether to run for Senate until May.

Price, a conservative favorite, is one of the many big-name Georgia politicians weighing a run at the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). But even as others are moving quickly — Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) has gotten in and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) opted against the race — Price says he's in no hurry.

He said he has raised $300,000 in the past couple of weeks but that he wants to deal with the debt ceiling and other fiscal issues that are on tap for early this year.

"The election of Georgia's next senator is 21 months away and there is plenty of time for campaigning," Price said. "To announce a decision prior to the completion of the work on the debt ceiling and critical fiscal policy in May 2013 would be distracting and unwise. At that time, Betty and I will then be prepared to come to a decision on my candidacy for the U.S. Senate as Georgia's conservative voice."

Here's the full statement:

"There has been speculation and questions about my seeking a seat in the U. S. Senate for many months.  Since Saxby Chambliss announced his retirement, I've talked with hundreds of Georgians across the state, seeking their input and listening to their advice.  They have overwhelmingly voiced their continued support and encouragement.  The remarkable wisdom and grassroots feedback I've received has been verified by internal polling, showing a clear path to victory, and an outpouring of financial support - more than $300,000 raised in less than two weeks.

"In November of 2012, the citizens of Georgia's Sixth Congressional District re-elected me to represent them in the U. S. House of Representatives.  This is a great honor and serious responsibility.  As Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee, I've been entrusted with a leadership position by my colleagues.  My current focus is on the formulation of a sound Budget Resolution, a plan to balance the budget within ten years and correct the many problems created by the Obama Administration.  The complexity of our fiscal crisis requires daily strategy and discussions to diligently tackle key issues including sequestration spending reductions, how Washington is funded, and the debt limit.

"The urgency of our country's problems is not to be taken lightly.  Public service is a sacred trust and I take my responsibilities seriously.  Too often, elected officials look toward the next rung on the ladder instead of the task at hand.  In the weeks to come, by demonstrating effective leadership, I will be focused on fulfilling the job I was elected to do.

"The election of Georgia's next senator is 21 months away and there is plenty of time for campaigning.  To announce a decision prior to the completion of the work on the debt ceiling and critical fiscal policy in May 2013, would be distracting and unwise.  At that time, Betty and I will then be prepared to come to a decision on my candidacy for the U.S. Senate as Georgia's conservative voice."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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