Several Georgia Republican insiders tell National Review Online that Representative Phil Gingrey has decided to run for Senate. They say he has informed his close friends and political allies, and he plans to announce by the end of the month.
A source close to Gingrey says he has already planned fundraisers. He’s also building his campaign team: Chip Lake is reportedly going to be his general consultant, and Sonny Scott, who runs Rising Tide Media Group, will also be an adviser. Georgia Tipsheet first reported the Scott hire, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on Lake’s involvement.
Gingrey, a 70-year-old obstetrician, made headlines last year when he weighed in on former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments. He said he understood what Akin was trying to say, and called the candidate “partly right.” Gingrey has since walked back those remarks.
Georgia will have an open Senate seat in 2014 because two-term Republican Saxby Chambliss is retiring. With Gingrey’s expected entry, the Republican primary is quickly becoming crowded. Representative Paul Broun has already announced that he will enter the race. Representative Jack Kingston has also signaled that he’ll run.
Insiders also suspect that either Representative Tom Price, a prominent House Republican, or former secretary of state Karen Handel may enter the race. The two, however, are good friends, and wouldn’t likely run against each other. A source familiar with both camps says Handel is waiting on Price to make her decision.
As he looks to build a statewide base, Gingrey sources hope the congressman will draw on his support from the Atlanta suburbs, from which he was first elected in 2002.