Friends of former secretary of state Karen Handel tell us that Rob Simms, once her chief of staff – now a D.C. media consultant, wasn’t blowing smoke when he said Handel was considering a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Handel, of course, has a statewide election under her belt – and came within a percentage point of beating Nathan Deal in the 2010 Republican runoff for governor. (She has a book to sell, too, but let us ignore that point.)
Price has never run statewide, but given that the largest portion of Georgia voters can be reached through the metro Atlanta media market, that’s less of a roadblock than it once was. The Roswell congressman also has $1.6 million in the bank – a sizable head start on any other would-be challenger to Chambliss.
What’s being ignored is the fact that Handel and [Congressman Tom] Price have a close political and geographic connection. Price was the only Republican member of Congress from Georgia to endorse Handel’s gubernatorial ambitions. (Both are thus unloved by the current governor.)
One will not run if the other does. So the more that you hear one of these two north Fulton figures talk about a U.S. Senate run, the less likely it is that the other is truly considering the contest.