According to Viral Read, Representative Paul Broun is in for Georgia’s 2014 Senate race.
Tonight was a night of surprises for anyone who attended the Georgia C.H.A.R.G.E. (Citizens Helping America Restore Government Ethics) meeting in Gwinnett county. Luckily, ViralRead was on the scene with a front row seat to all the fireworks. The surprise, however, didn’t come from the keynote speaker, former Secretary of State and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel. Moments before the meeting was underway Congressman Paul Broun (R-Athens) shocked the crowd as he walked into the room with his wife, Niki Broun, and a top-level staffer.
Jaws hit the floor as Representative Broun took the stage and began discussing the usual/current problems in Washington: Congressional gridlock, damage made to the Republican brand, as well as the lack of leadership coming from the West Wing. As the speech wound down, most folks in the audience were looking at one another, presumably thinking the same thing: Is Congressman Broun going to state his case and make his formal announcement to run to replace retiring Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss? To everyone’s dismay, his closing statement did no such thing.
Thankfully, this isn’t where the story ended. As Congressman Broun sat down to a room full of applause followed my a short silence, Dr. Broun’s wife, Niki, stood up in front of the crowd and courageously declared that not only did her husband have her permission and support to run to be Georgia’s next junior U.S. Senator, but that he was openly announcing his candidacy, the first to formally do so in the wake of Senator Chambliss’ declaration to resign following the remainder of his current term.
Meanwhile, former governor Sonny Perdue declares he will not run for the seat.
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Red State editor/former Macon city councilman Erick Erickson have declared they’re not interested, either.
Newt Gingrich said that he would not run, but he had spoken to Representative Tom Price, who told him that he probably plans to run to replace Chambliss.
Representative Jack Kingston is also making some noise.
Some folks are already polling the state:
According to a telephone poll of 1,027 Republican voters by GOP consultant Todd Rehm’s GaPundit.com, more than 22 percent of respondents would like to see former Gov. Sonny Perdue take Chambliss’ seat in the Senate. Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state and unsuccessful gubernatorial hopeful, came in second to the former governor. Nearly 25 percent of the survey’s respondents said they were undecided.
In addition, Florida-based HEG On-Target Solutions and Apache Political, a metro Atlanta Republican consulting firm, also polled voters about the race, which is nearly two years away. The poll found that nearly 40 percent of voters would likely support former businessman and failed presidential candidate Herman Cain in the contest. There’s a wide gulf between Cain and his nearest potential challenger, Congressman Tom Price, R-Roswell, who garnered 8 percent of the responses. Cain, however, has said he’s not interested in serving in the U.S. Senate. More than 22 percent of voters were undecided.
Democrats, however, say they’re more likely to vote for Mayor Kasim Reed, were he to jump into what’s sure to be a crowded pack of candidates. The well-connected former state lawmaker turned city’s chief executive was selected by more than 25 percent of the respondents over former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond and Congressman John Barrow, D-Augusta, among others. More than 20 percent of the survey’s 1,234 respondents were unsure who’d earn their vote.