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Karen Handel, Former Susan G. Komen Executive, Reportedly Considering Senate Bid

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Former Susan G. Komen for the Cure executive Karen Handel could run for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2014. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Former Susan G. Komen for the Cure executive Karen Handel could run for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2014. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Karen Handel, the former Susan G. Komen for the Cure executive who drove the charity's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, is considering running for U.S. Senate in Georgia, according to one of her former aides.

She’s considering it,” Rob Simms, a Republican campaign consultant who worked on Handel’s unsuccessful run for governor in 2010, told the Weekly Standard.

If she ran, she would be going up against Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), whom Roll Call reported may be vulnerable to a primary challenge from the right, given his "willingness to reach across the aisle and his comfort with the idea of compromise."

According to the Weekly Standard, Kay Godwin, the co-chairman of Georgia Conservatives in Action, also said she is hearing that Handel may challenge Chambliss in a primary.

As a top executive at Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer charity in the country, Handel spearheaded the effort to stop sending breast cancer screening grants to Planned Parenthood. After a public uproar, Komen reversed its decision and Handel resigned.

In her recently released book, Handel lashed out at Planned Parenthood for her downfall, calling members of the organization "a bunch of schoolyard thugs."

Before joining Komen in April 2011, Handel ran for governor of Georgia on an aggressively anti-abortion platform. She wrote in her campaign blog that she "do[es] not support the mission of Planned Parenthood." Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Handel because of her opposition to reproductive choice.

In July, the Republican Study Committee tapped Handel to co-chair its "Right Women, Right Now" initiative, which aimed to support GOP women running for office.

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