[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/25/art.palinscrum1125.ap.jpg caption="Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is slated to campaign next week for Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will make multiple campaign appearances on behalf of Sen. Saxby Chambliss next week in Georgia, serving as the political closer for the GOP senator who is battling to win a second term.
This is Palin’s first campaign appearance on behalf of another Republican candidate since losing her bid to become the nation’s first woman to serve as vice president.
Palin will attend a fundraiser on Sunday night, then appear at multiple campaign stops on Monday in an effort to rally the GOP base to turn out to vote for Chambliss. The incumbent Republican is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Jim Martin. A runoff is scheduled for next Tuesday, after neither candidate received the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win on Election Day.
Palin is the latest high-profile politician to head to Georgia to campaign for either Chambliss or Martin. Former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore have campaigned for Martin, while Republican presidential nominee John McCain, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have appeared on behalf of Chambliss. Today, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will campaign for the Republican senator.
Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, said that it made sense for Palin to help Chambliss in the days leading into the run-off because he noted that GOP governors are “still very popular in the party.”
“She is going to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to this run-off,” said Ayers, a close Palin confidante. “She is widely popular in Georgia, and I could not envision a stronger closer for Saxby in this election.”
Georgia is one of two Senate contests that remain unresolved as the dust continues to settle from an Election Day that saw Republicans lose at least seven Senate seats, 20 House seats and control of the White House. Republicans must win at least one of the two remaining unresolved Senate races to prevent Democrats from reaching 60 seats in the chamber and thus achieving a filibuster-proof majority. Minnesota, the other unsettled Senate race, is currently in a recount.