Posted: 8:33 pm Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Karen Handel to endorse Jack Kingston in Georgia Senate race 

By Greg Bluestein

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Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel said late Tuesday she will endorse Rep. Jack Kingston’s Senate bid.

Handel’s endorsement will come at a Kingston event at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The Savannah Republican hopes that the tea party forces that helped Handel finish third in last week’s runoff could shift their allegiances to his camp.

Kingston faces businessman David Perdue, the top vote-getter in the GOP primary, in a July 22 runoff that will be the longest - and likely costliest – in state history.

Handel’s endorsement should come as little surprise to close watchers of this rollicking race.  Handel and Perdue got into a very public tiff after the former Fortune 500 executive knocked Handel as the “high school graduate in this race.” Handel, who left a broken home at 17 and finished high school but never college, used it to try to depict Perdue as the  candidate who has “lost touch with our values.”

We’re also told that Perdue’s primary night victory speech did him no favors. In that speech, he told cheering supporters that “we retired three career politicians and we’ve got one more to go.” Handel staked her campaign on being an outsider, so being labeled a politico one last time by the night’s victor was like rubbing salt in the wound.

Handel’s role in Kingston’s campaign isn’t yet determined, but we can expect her to focus her firepower on her metro Atlanta base – the former Fulton County commission chair has a considerable following in the region’s suburbs – and to make the party’s case to conservative women who may otherwise be tempted to vote for Democrat Michelle Nunn.

It’s Kingston’s latest move in an interesting balancing act between claiming establishment credentials and courting tea party support.

Kingston won the endorsement of the establishment-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity, a favorite of the tea party crowd, before the primary. And since last week’s results, tea party stalwarts Erick Erickson and Julianne Thompson have both left Handel’s fold for Kingston’s camp. Perdue, meanwhile, has big names such as former presidential contender Herman Cain and former Gov. Sonny Perdue, his first cousin, in his corner.

The contours of this race are shifting fast, but this much is clear:

There’s a new rule in Georgia politics – if your opponent has only a high school diploma, be very, very polite.

77 comments
farberboy
farberboy

Sorry, but I will take Perdue over any career politician.  Kingston is OK, but I like Perdue's business experience.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

The Tea party should not be endorsing either Kingston or Perdue at the moment. Both candidates must be kept in a position where they will have to earn Tea party support by their open and public commitment to support the political goals of the Tea party and not that of the US Chamber of Commerce, especially when it comes to their support for amnesty, and more government spending.


ex animo

davidfarrar

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Kingston was not my first choice but he will get my vote over Michelle " I might be a Democrat and I did learn something from my Grandmother " Nunn just a empty suit or dress whichever.

PSWallace
PSWallace

I have zero intention of Perdue--the classic frat boy all grown up, disparaging and thinking less of others while he gets his, leading a charmed life---being my representative. The man is not anywhere near as educated as he thinks.

redherring
redherring

bravo karen--- it would be my educated guess that handel is supporting kingston because they have very similar views on important issues.  she made the best choice....

honested
honested

So now the least qualified of the republican candidates weighs in.


I would've figured she'd endorse gingrey.

likeitis
likeitis

Do you really think that Jack (in the box) Kingston or Billy (bob) Perdue will be able to change anything in Washington ? ...and the answer is... HELL NO.

Julesx2222
Julesx2222

So she endorses who she wants to based on her own personal "vendetta" type reasons... not based on what is best for the state.  I hear all year long, year after year, that we need to fire them all in Washington and get new people in there.... that the ones in Washington need to go because they aren't doing anything... etc.  Now that we have that opportunity, here we go again with people trying to put Jack Kingston back in there.  He may be a nice guy, a cheapskate, and all those other good things, but what has he really done?  and where are all those people who wants to get rid of all those in Washington and give somebody else a chance??

billygreen
billygreen

Glad for KH to endorse Kingston, but only because I despise Perdue. Unlike cousin Sonny, this bird is a rich kid and should just stay home and count his money, like Romney. We need middle class people in the GOP, not ultra rich extremes, which are just as bad as the leftist extremes in the Dim party, where nothing gets done because they're always playing a political football game instead of solving the people's business. We need normal, average people in the middle, and since the Dim party caters to the ultra left, you won't get it from there, even if they did grow up into adults overnight. I'm more conservative than probably anyone else on here, but if you don't get elected, you can't do anything. Kingston is conservative enough for me, and he's experienced. All of you newbies who want "outsiders" don't understand that those kind of people will have to rely on lawyers and lobbyists, while experienced people already know how the system works and how to get to work immediately.I voted for Paul Broun, the most conservative person running in the primary, but now that he's gone, it's time to vote the Republican in and the godless, worthless Dimbulbs out, out, out, while there's still a tidbit of this country to save. How about that for a plan?

shameful
shameful

A wannabe career politician and a career politician joining forces. What's wrong with this picture? Like we need more "politicians" in office. Where has that gotten this country.

You ladies should put aside the "female" aspect of this race and give a businessman a chance to see if he can do anything. Someone needs to!

Kingston has had YEARS to make a difference. He has. He has helped deplete the monetary fund by taking a salary. Congress is pitiful. Change, real change, is needed.

TheBetterHalf
TheBetterHalf

Hmmm, what a choice we have - either the Corporate Establishment (Perdue) or the Political Establishment (KIngston), both of which have totally screwed us hard-working "high-school graduates" and college graduates who compose what is left of the shrinking middle-class in this country.  Even Nunn trades on her daddy's name to get votes, so what is new? 

I vote in every election because I was raised to appreciate our right to vote - but I constantly wonder why since nothing ever really changes.   

guacandchips
guacandchips

Handel lost my potential vote when I started getting robo-called 5 times a day for the week leading up to the election.  Kingston (and anyone else) that robo-calls me will not get my vote either.

taters
taters

The repugincants don't want those with health issues to be able to get insurance...they want you all to die so they can rob more unsuspecting poor people.  Repugincants like Kingston only care about themselves and their rich friends.  Handel is a total loser too...she can't win no matter what she runs for.

notagain
notagain

If you spread negative words and the words are true,is this mudslinging???Nunn is choice.

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

We have had oned Perdue sell off Oaky Woods to his friends. if we get another one, he might sell Stone Mountain to some of his friends.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

The candidates left in this race have already run so far to the right — They've questioned the science of climate change, resurrected the self deportation solution, threshed the welfare children, and (this'll get them moving among the geriatric set) have vowed to privatize entitlement programs for future beneficiaries. Stunningly, they stare at the camera with a straight face and cry that their opponent has sold out the conservatives.

petel
petel

Another reason to vote for Perdue.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Mary Nunn:  "Even though I have lived a privileged life that very few of you will ever know and even though I send my kids to private school and even though I earn $300,000+ running a "volunteer" organization created by a con, I am truly, truly just like you so vote for me."

Ga Libs & The AJC:  Yes we will.

lvg
lvg

Handel's 10 min. of fame is long over.

EdUktr
EdUktr

If she had won outright the AJC would now be suggesting that her lack of a college degree is an insurmountable obstacle to election. 

Just saying.

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

Governor Rick Scott bought his title in FL. And Georgians are likely to sell the title of Senator to the highest bidder.

farberboy
farberboy

@billygreen A rich kid whose parents were parents were both school teachers.  Who are you kidding?

td1234
td1234

@TheBetterHalf There were 7 candidates on the Republican side and 4 on the Democratic side running. If you do not like the remaining three then tell us what you did for one of the others you actually believed would be a better Senator? Did you work for that persons campaign? Did you contribute money? Work a phone bank? Come on blogs like this one and advocate for your preference?  

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

Yo' testimony is 'Spot On'. They're all crooked as a dogs hine leg! Founding Fathers wanted us to have a "limited government". The reason was & is the Founders knew that 'Less Crooked' is better than 'More Crooked'.

farberboy
farberboy

@taters You can have people just believe you are a fool, or you can write something so idiotic which clearly establishes it. 

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@MiltonMan 

I automatically mistrust anyone that is only able to spew negative garbage about someone else. So tell me about the wonderful alternatives to the object of your blind parrot hatred, please. At least Nunn has been effective in her efforts, has proven the ability to work across party lines, never looted any organization she has been in charge of, and has actually presented new ideas, rather than just cutting others down.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@EdUktr  Don't waste your time - this one is strictly a spew, run and hide type.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

...and libs don't send a dime to get elected???  Mary Nunn will spend millions in ads only to go down in flames.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@Joeleejohnson Different demographic in Georgia.  All those south of the fall line could care less about Perdue's money campaign, and will fall lockstep in with Kingston in the run-off, as they did in the primary.  As will all of Broun, Gringley, and Handel's supporters, easily giving Kingston well over 60% of the run-off vote.  Purdue alienated too many of the other's supporters.

TheBetterHalf
TheBetterHalf

@td1234 - Why do I have to do anything for any of the candidates?  They all have their organizations in place.  I am not a political animal, just a citizen.  I inform myself on the issues and I always vote. 

Any time or resources that I have outside of working for a living and taking care of my family, I spend them on behalf of my church.  There is no politician on earth that will help me get to heaven. I prefer to focus on the "Bigger Picture", so to speak.

But thanks for your input! 

td1234
td1234

@Joeleejohnson Since you think they are all "Crooked" then why did you not either run yourself or work to get someone not crooked to run?

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

@OldEngineer @MiltonMan Milton Man NEVER offers any actual facts to any blog or discussion. It is always whining about liberals. I don't think he actually knows how to do anything else.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@MiltonMan  Someone hasn't been reading the polls lately, or kept up with the demographic shift. 

Derwin0
Derwin0

@MiltonMan yeah, Roy Barnes well overspent Sonny Purdue and lost re-election.  He later outspent Deal, and still lost big.  

TheBetterHalf
TheBetterHalf

I was actually referring to the political scenario in general, but whatever....

td1234
td1234

@TheBetterHalf Then why are you complaining my friend? You get the candidates you deserve and since you do not want to work to get candidates you approve of then you are left with the ones that others (who are willing to work for) approve of.  

td1234
td1234

@linuxfanatic Would you please give examples to those 4 broad brush statements you made about Nunn? 

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@OldEngineer @linuxfanatic @MiltonMan


All right. I will play along.


Nunn has been effective in her efforts - slap at Kingston

 has proven the ability to work across party lines - slap at Kingston

never looted any organization she has been in charge of  - slap at Perdue

and has actually presented new ideas, rather than just cutting others down - slap at Perdue and Kingston


Use something that isn't a talking point against Perdue and Kingston and you will be getting somewhere. For the record, I actually like her experience at Hands On Atlanta/Points Of Light. I just happen to believe that a U.S. Senate seat - only 100 senators in the entire country people! - should require more. Obviously, you feel the same, or else you would be extolling her accomplishments at Points of Light. Since no one is doing so, people must agree with me.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@linuxfanatic @OldEngineer @MiltonMan  So, nothing then? Again, here's mine: "Nunn has been effective in her efforts, has proven the ability to work across party lines, never looted any organization she has been in charge of, and has actually presented new ideas, rather than just cutting others down."

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@linuxfanatic @OldEngineer @MiltonMan  Nope, just seeking the vast wisdom of the right. Hmmmm - I said some pretty positive things, please show me something positive about the one I responded to. Nice deflection though.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@OldEngineer @MiltonMan What demographic shift is that?  The one that gave Deal his 10+% win last time?  The one that had Romney easily win GA over Obama?

Everyone talks about the demographic shift in Georgia, yet every election gets redder, with the Republicans picking up more General Assembly seats, as well as now taking every Statewide seat with increasing margins.

Hispanics (legal ones that can vote) also don't fall lock step in with a party as do Blacks.

Georgia women also tend to be as conservative as the men here.

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@OldEngineer @MiltonMan


The polls are meaningless at this point. Right now the Perdue and Kingston supporters are at each other's throats. After the runoff they will consolidate. Also, the debates will force Nunn to actually take positions on a range of issues instead of cherry picking things that don't really matter much (like the Keystone pipeline that senators will never vote on anyway, the VRA whose repeal will never get past a senate filibuster and the VA secretary who has already been asked to resign by David Scott) in order to make her appear moderate. The demographic shift is overplayed: Texas has been a majority-minority state for years and is even more Republican than ever because most of that state's Hispanics align with the GOP (something you will never hear mentioned by the national media). And the Texas Dems keep nominating candidates like Wendy Davis (remember her?) instead of moderates that could actually make them competitive. If the Georgia Dems keep doing the same, they will have similar results.


The only thing that gives the Georgia Dems a chance is that the Georgia GOP doesn't have the caliber of politicians and leaders that the Texas GOP does. While the Texas GOP is perfectly capable of electing women (see Kay Bailey Hutchison) and Harvard grads (Ted Cruz), the Georgia GOP is stuck with guys like Deal and the Perdues. The Texas GOP just nominated an engineer from the energy sector to their top state regulatory post. He will certainly run for higher office i.e. Congress or governor in the future. If the Georgia GOP would identify and advance candidates like that, then the likes of Carter and Nunn would never have even the small chances that they do have.