The federal government needs more than conservatives in office, it needs “governing conservatives,” said Karen Handel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.
“Individuals who have a track record of really getting things done in tough environments,” she said. “And that’s the track record that I have and the kind of experience and leadership that I’m going to bring.”
Handel, one of many Republicans in a growing field of candidates to fill the seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, spoke to the Republican Women of Forsyth County during a lunch meeting Wednesday.
Many in the audience at Norman’s Landing restaurant sported Handel stickers. Some were supporters who said they’ve known Handel since before her days in government.
For those unfamiliar with the candidate, Handel highlighted her successes as the chief executive officer of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Fulton County Commissioner and Georgia Secretary of State.
The state’s voter photo ID law was her idea. She said it was a highlight of her time as secretary of state, despite the legal battles with the U.S. Department of Justice to get it implemented.
“When you have good policy, it’s nothing but words on a piece of paper unless you also look at the other side of it, how are you going to implement it,” she said. “We implemented photo ID and with the help of partnership of our local elections officials all around the state.
“We had photo ID for that 2008 preidential election and it went off with no problems whatsoever.”
Like her fellow Republican hopefuls, Handel talked about the current dysfunction in Washington, D.C. She also highlighted the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, which she called “a disaster” that can’t be tweaked.
“It’s time to start all over,” she said. “Repeal it and start over with new health care policy that is patient-centered and market-driven.”
She did comment on the current policy of “no” by Republicans in Congress.
“For Republicans who are conservatives, we have to talk about what we’re for, not just be against what the Democrats have proposed,” she said. “We have to be for things good for America and good for Americans.”
Handel acknowledged the campaign battles ahead, given the slate of candidates.
“It’s going to be a tough race and I welcome that,” she said. “It ought to be tough because this is too important for the future of our state and the future of our country to simply move forward with electing people just because they’ve been in office for 20 years.
“I ask for your vote, but know that ... I’m going to work very hard to earn it.”