Who’s Karen Handel? Bio, facts and background


After unsuccessful bids to be governor along with a U.S. senator, Karen Handel’s victory in Georgia’s 6th congressional district special election Tuesday keeps the longtime Republican seat in conservative hands.

Handel, occasion businesswoman, cast herself within the race against Democrat Jon Ossoff as “a lifelong conservative who built her career on delivering results both in the populace and sectors.”

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Her previous positions in government include being Georgia’s secretary of state from 2007-2009 and since chair from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners from 2003-2006.

Handel’s tried to winnow down Georgia voter rolls as secretary of state, drawing allegations of voter suppression as well as a federal lawsuit filed through the ACLU.

She left that post at the 2009 to run for governor of Georgia. Though she gained endorsements from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and future GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Handel lost within the Republican primary by below 3,000 votes to Nathan Deal, who will be now concluding his second term as governor.

Her next work for balance running for public office came in 2014, when she sought to change to retired Sen. Saxby Chambliss but arrived third primarily. But she jumped within the race for any 6th District trapped on tape when Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price vacated the seat to participate in Trump’s Cabinet. In April, Handel started in second inside the all-party special primary, triggering Tuesday’s runoff against Ossoff.

During the campaign, that is the more costly House race historical, Handel backed most of President Donald Trump’s policy positions, including making a wall around the southern border. She also touted the place proposal to repeal Obamacare, rolling back federal regulations and simplifying the tax code.

Perhaps most central to her conservative agenda became a staunch pro-life stance. Handel made a high-ranking position with all the Susan G. Komen to your Cure charity next year once the cancer-fighting organization chosen to restore funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization she called “blatantly partisan.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence both campaigned for Handel in Georgia, and out of doors groups poured money into her election bid.

Still, though Handel supported a lot of Trump’s policies and held a private fundraiser with him in April, she failed to go out of her approach to mention obama on the campaign trail, inside of a bid with the district’s moderate voters. Next year, Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the district by 23 percentage points, but it really became much closer a year ago. In 2016, Trump won the district by simply 1.5 points.