Earlier this month, Handel announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring at the end of his term in 2014.
“We need less Washington in Washington,” she said. “We need a strong leader who’s going to stand up and fight for the principles of this country and the constitution, someone who is not going to make promises but actually deliver results when it comes to downsizing the government.”
A conservative and Republican, Handel believes both her experiences working in the private sector and as an elected official will benefit her if elected to the national position.
“At the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, I took an organization at the brink of bankruptcy to solvency,” she said. “When I went to the Fulton County Commission as the first elected woman chairman, I was able to fill a $100 million budget deficit and balance the budget without tax increases each and every year I was chairman.
“When I became Secretary of State … I worked to streamline the office so that we could reduce the budget by 20 percent but at the same time deliver better results and improve customer service.”
Handel, who narrowly lost the 2010 Republican primary runoff for governor to Nathan Deal, said her experience running for a statewide office will be an advantage against candidates who have not been exposed to a statewide election.
“I understand how a statewide campaign works and I’m a bit battle tested, if you will, from having been through it,” she said. “Statewide campaigns are very different from district campaigns and they’re tough … but they’re meant to be and they should be because the jobs are extraordinarily important and impactful.”
Handel said she is fortunate to have a tremendous network of supporters across Georgia and particularly in North Fulton and her hometown of Roswell.
“I will not be outworked on this campaign,” she said. “I have a reputation for being an extraordinarily hard worker and very tenacious, and you’ll see those very qualities coming out [during the campaign].”