Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel believes it is time for the next generation of leadership in Georgia.
Speaking at the Monday night meeting of the Barrow County Republican Party, Handel said she is not part of the “good old boy” network and is the only candidate in the race with the real business experience needed to create jobs and improve Georgia’s economy.
Handel knows she is up against formidable opponents with extensive political experience, but is confident her record and attitude will win voters.
“I have never been one to shy away from a challenge,” she said.
Though portraying herself as more of a political newcomer than her competition, Handel is no stranger to politics.
After serving as a deputy chief of staff in the Bush-Quayle White House, Handel served as an executive with KPMG and then CIBA Vision. She led the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and, in 2002, was named Governor Sonny Perdue’s deputy chief of staff.
In 2003, Handel was elected chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
“At my first meeting, I faced a $100 million budget deficit, a proposed three mil tax increase and a democratic majority,” she said.
Despite these obstacles, Handel avoided increasing taxes, balanced the budget and implemented stringent ethics laws.
In 2007, Handel was sworn in as Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State.
One of her major goals in office has been strengthening Georgia’s voter identification laws.
“We have won every step of the way in court,” she said. “I have had to take on the AJC, the ACLU, the Democratic Party and even Roy Barnes in the court.”
In spite of these obstacles, Handel said her efforts have been successful as over 92 percent of the votes cast in the last Presidential election were cast in person and with photo identification.
Additionally, Handel said she has worked to enforce Federal laws requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. She said she is currently battling the Obama White House over the issue.
Handel said she and her staff are sorting through their options and she vows to fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“It is only common sense to make sure that someone who sends you a piece of paper in the mail [is] who they say they are and that they are citizens of these United States of America,” she said.
Handel is a self-described Christian conservative Republican. She is pro-life, a strong advocate of second amendment rights and believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Handel said she believes lower taxes are the way to “reignite an economy” and wants to increase the state’s focus on attracting and retaining small businesses.
“Georgia needs a leader who is going to be bold and tenacious to bring in a 21st century vision for our state with real, practical problem solving for the very real issues we have,” she said.
Handel will face Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, State Senator Eric Johnson, Congressman Nathan Deal, State Representative Austin Scott and businessman Ray McBerry in next year’s Republican primary.
What's the point of this PR piece for the local Republican Party? Did Ken Young slip the paper some money to run this. In fact in the actual paper there are TWO stories about Ken Young and the local right wingers. This is news? All Karen Handel has accomplished as Secretary of State is trying to prevent citizens from voting via her unlawful ID bill.
It's unfair and untrue to say that all Karen Handel has accomplished has been her voter ID initiative. As Secretary of State, she has reduced the budget of her office by 17%, reduced government fuel consumption by 36%, and started the Transparency in Government Initiative.
Also, the voter ID project's legality has been upheld in court, time after time. The allegations that her reforms have prevented people from voting, especially minorities, are completely false. Look at the increase in voter turnout during her tenure. In fact, during her term as Secretary of State, turnout among Hispanic voters has increase 140% and turnout among black voters has increased 42%.
Oh, so let's put someone in office like Oxendine or Barnes who are "yes" men. Show them the money and they will ensure you get what you want! We need Karen Handel as our next governor, she has integrity and is not afraid to stand up to corruption!!