(CNN) - Sarah Palin strikes again - this time lending her conservative star power to candidate Karen Handel in the jam-packed battle for the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia.
The stakes in the race are high for both parties as Democrats eye the seat in the red state as one of their few potential pick-ups in 2014 – a prospect Palin underscored Thursday in her endorsement.
Washington (CNN) – Georgia Republicans have a nominee for governor after former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel conceded the GOP primary Wednesday to ex-Rep. Nathan Deal.
While less than 2,500 votes separated the two candidates in this primary runoff election, Handel told Deal late Wednesday morning that she would not request a recount as allowed under state law if the margin remained under one percent. As of Wednesday, the difference between Deal and Handel was 0.4 percent.
The telephone call, brokered by a mutual friend, lasted for about 10-15 minutes and Handel "said she would encourage her supporters to show the same excitement and enthusiasm for Nathan's candidacy as they did for hers," Deal spokesman Brian Robinson told CNN.
Washington (CNN) - No clear winner emerged Tuesday from the hard-fought runoff for the Georgia Republican gubernatorial nomination, setting up a possible recount to settle this GOP contest less than three months before the November election.
Ex-Rep. Nathan Deal leads former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel by 2,489 votes, a margin so small that Handel can demand a recount if it holds. Provisional ballots can still be counted until Thursday, while military and overseas votes are due by the close of business on Friday, Georgia Secretary of State spokesman Matt Carrothers told CNN.
The election will be certified next week and if the margin that separates the two candidates is less than one percent, then the loser can request a recount under state law. Right now, the difference between Deal and Handel is 0.4%.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin's dropping into Georgia to weigh in on the state's increasingly bitter Republican gubernatorial battle, one day before the primary runoff election.
According to the campaign of GOP candidate Karen Handel, Palin will team up with Georgia's former secretary of state at a get out the vote campaign rally on Monday August 9. The next day Handel faces off against former Rep. Nathan Deal in the runoff contest.
Handel was endorsed before the July 20 primary by the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. Palin's backing appeared to quiet some on the right who criticized Handel as not being conservative enough and appeared to help Handel rise in the final polls conducted before the primary.
(CNN) - Less than two weeks before Georgia's Republican gubernatorial runoff, a rough campaign is getting tougher.
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's up with a new television commercial highlighting her gender and touting her conservative credentials while attacking her opponent, former Rep. Nathan Deal. And Deal's campaign is firing back.
"One carries a purse. The other carries baggage. One whom Sarah Palin says has cut government, and is the true conservative. Or the other, who added trillions to our national debt. One a conservative reformer. One a corrupt relic of Washington DC. Karen Handel is Georgia's strong conservative," says the narrator in the ad.
(CNN) - A day after advancing to Georgia's Republican gubernatorial runoff as the favorite to win the nomination, Karen Handel picked up the support of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, CNN has learned.
"A successful businesswoman and public servant, Karen Handel's blend of executive, political, and business experience is just what Georgia needs at this critical time," Romney said in a statement Wednesday. "The leadership skills that she has honed in both the private and public sectors will enable her to make tough decisions and enact the reforms needed to get the economy back on track and foster job creation."
Handel and Rep. Nathan Deal emerged from a four-way primary battle and will now face off in the Aug. 10 runoff. Handel was boosted in the primary by endorsements from Sarah Palin and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Deal is backed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented Georgia's sixth congressional district for two decades.
Romney stayed out of the primary, an aide said, because one of the candidates, state Sen. Eric Johnson, had backed Romney during his 2008 presidential bid.
(CNN) - As voters in Georgia head to the polls Tuesday in primary elections, surveys indicate the high-profile battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination appears to be headed to a runoff.
The big question is whether an endorsement by Sarah Palin will turn another female candidate into a nominee.
Last week, the ex-Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee backed former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for governor. The endorsement appears to have helped propel Handel into the front-runner position in a three-way battle for the GOP nomination.
According to a Mason-Dixon survey released Sunday, 29 percent of likely Georgia GOP primary voters support Handel, with 22 percent backing state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, 20 percent supporting former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, 13 percent supporting former state Sen. Eric Johnson, and 13 percent undecided. Handel's advantage of 6 percentage points is within the poll's sampling error.
(CNN) - One day before primaries in Georgia, a new poll indicates that a candidate backed last week by Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has surged to the forefront in the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
According to a Mason-Dixon survey released Sunday, 29 percent of likely GOP primary voters support former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who Palin endorsed in an internet posting last Monday.
The survey indicates 22 percent of those voters are backing former state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, 20 percent supporting former Rep. Nathan Deal, 13 percent supporting former State Sen. Eric Johnson, and 13 percent undecided. Handel's six-point advantage is within the poll's sampling error.
Handel's support is also up six points from a Mason-Dixon poll conducted just a few days earlier, when Oxendine stood at 31 percent and Handel at 23 percent support. The earlier survey was conducted just before and during Palin's endorsement of Handel a week ago. On her Facebook page, the former 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee called Handel a reformer who will "strengthen…families, businesses, state and, ultimately, our United States."