Handel Radio Ad Beats Ga. Opponents to the Airwaves

Karen Handel, U.S. Senate candidate and former Georgia Secretary of State, addresses activists during a political rally at the Georgia State Capitol, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Atlanta.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Sarah Mimms
Sept. 5, 2013, 4:58 p.m.

With Geor­gia’s con­ten­tious Re­pub­lic­an primary just eight months away, former Sec­ret­ary of State Kar­en Han­del beat her fel­low Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates to the air­waves on Thursday, launch­ing the first ad of the 2014 cam­paign.

Han­del’s early ad, a ra­dio spot de­signed to sep­ar­ate her from the crowd, builds on her at­tempts to por­tray her­self as the out­sider in a race dom­in­ated by cur­rent mem­bers of Con­gress. It hits Reps. Phil Gin­grey, Jack King­ston and Paul Broun, though not by name, for cam­paign­ing against the 2010 health care law, even as they re­ceive in­sur­ance sub­sidies un­der it. Im­pli­cit in the spot’s fo­cus on Pres­id­ent Obama’s sig­na­ture le­gis­lat­ive achieve­ment is that Han­del, who hasn’t be­nefited from the law, will be bet­ter po­si­tioned than her Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ents to make the case against “Obama­care” in a gen­er­al elec­tion cam­paign against likely Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Michelle Nunn.

The ad is run­ning primar­ily on Re­pub­lic­an-friendly talk ra­dio and coun­try mu­sic sta­tions in the Sa­van­nah, At­lanta and Athens mar­kets, three of the four largest in the state — which also just hap­pen to be King­ston’s, Gin­grey’s and Broun’s home mar­kets, re­spect­ively.

Left un­men­tioned in the ad is busi­ness­man Dav­id Per­due, an­oth­er po­ten­tially vi­able Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate. Per­due, who has nev­er held elect­ive of­fice, could be a strong com­pet­it­or for the “out­sider” la­bel. Per­due has prom­ised to draw heav­ily from his per­son­al wealth to fund his cam­paign, but Han­del’s team and the oth­er Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates have largely ig­nored him. Said Han­del spokes­man Dan McLagan: “I’ll take him ser­i­ously when he puts $5 mil­lion of his own money in.”

The early start to Han­del’s ad cam­paign is in part a re­sponse to a fed­er­al judge’s re­cent or­der mov­ing Geor­gia’s primar­ies from its typ­ic­al mid-Ju­ly date up to May 20, giv­ing the Sen­ate can­did­ates even less time to in­tro­duce them­selves to voters. Han­del’s ad will help her build on her already su­per­i­or name re­cog­ni­tion, hav­ing run for gov­ernor in 2010 and served as Sec­ret­ary of State be­fore that. None of her op­pon­ents have run for statewide of­fice be­fore, and while Broun, King­ston and Gin­grey are well known in their dis­tricts, they have a lot of ground to make up with voters in oth­er parts of the state.

The spot is also a sign that Han­del, who entered the race just six weeks be­fore the end of the last fin­an­cial dis­clos­ure peri­od, has money com­ing in the door. McLagan said that Han­del is hav­ing a “really good” third quarter and that he ex­pects her to post strong num­bers at the end of the quarter, which con­cludes this month. But, he cau­tioned, Han­del will be out­spent by her op­pon­ents. Gin­grey has $2.6 mil­lion on hand and King­ston has $2.3 mil­lion in the bank.

Han­del has been in that po­s­i­tion be­fore, McLagan ar­gued, not­ing that Han­del was out­spent by all four of her op­pon­ents in the 2010 gubernat­ori­al primary, which she won, be­fore los­ing a close run­off to now-Gov. Nath­an Deal.

With open races for the con­gress­men’s three seats, an­oth­er likely barn burn­er in Demo­crat­ic Rep. John Bar­row’s 12th Dis­trict and a still sleepy — but po­ten­tially com­pet­it­ive — gubernat­ori­al primary, Geor­gia’s air­waves will be crowded next year, and ad buys could be pricey. Han­del’s team is clearly bet­ting that get­ting on air early, and cheaply, will pay off in May.

What We're Following See More »
CNN/ORC Has Clinton Up 5 Points
3 hours ago

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.

Rapper Jay Z to Perform Concert for Clinton
4 hours ago
Log Cabin Republicans Don’t Endorse Trump
4 hours ago

While the organization praised him for being "perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party," the Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Donald Trump for president. The organization, which is the largest gay organization in the United States, said that Trump failed to earn its endorsement because he surrounded himself with anti-LGBTQ people "and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' that Log Cabin Republicans opposes."

Congress Needs to Deal With Impending Nuclear Plant Closures
4 hours ago

Energy Secretary Ernesto Moniz is warning Congress "that Congress and businesses need to act with more urgency to work out a medley of challenges in promoting nuclear power." A number of nuclear plants are currently on track to close around 2030, unless their licenses are extended from 60 years to 80 years, something that could jeopardize the success of the Clean Power Plan. Moniz called on Congress to pass legislation creating interim storage facilities for used nuclear power.

Trump Pocketed Insurance Money Following 2005 Hurricane
5 hours ago

Donald Trump has said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 following Hurricane Wilma, which he claimed did severe damage to his private club in Florida. However, an Associated Press investigation could not find any evidence of the large-scale damage that Trump has mentioned. Additionally, Trump claimed that he transferred some of the $17 million to his personal account thanks to a "very good insurance policy."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.