Former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel (R) announced Friday morning that she will join the state's increasingly crowded GOP Senate primary.

Handel narrowly lost to now-Gov. Nathan Deal (R) in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

"One of the great advantages that I'm going to have in this race is I really am battle-tested," Handel told WSB-TV. "I've had a lot thrown at me and I'm still standing."

Following her run for governor, Handel became vice president of the Susan G. Komen foundation. But she resigned in February 2012 amidst a controversy over the group pulling its funding of Planned Parenthood.

In the Senate race, she joins a trio of Georgia GOP congressmen -- Jack Kingston, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey. Rep. Tom Price's (R) decision not to run, earlier this week, cleared the way for Handel to enter the race; the two are personally close and were not expected to run against each other.

Democrats are still searching for a candidate in the race after Rep. John Barrow opted against running. Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, is considered likely to run. Democrats believe that if Republicans nominate Broun or Gingrey, they have a good shot at winning the seat.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) is retiring.