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Handel to be among speakers at GOP women’s conference Saturday
by Tom Spigolon
September 06, 2012 11:12 AM | 2509 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Karen Handel
Karen Handel
Former Georgia secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel is scheduled as keynote speaker for the inaugural 14th Congressional District Republican Women’s Conference Saturday, Sept. 8, in Hiram.

Paulding resident Nancy Holingshed, district director for the Georgia Federation of Republican Women, said she helped organize the event to “get the word out” that women should work to become leaders in the Republican Party.

She noted 45 percent of the Republican voters in the 14th Congressional District — which includes northwest Georgia — are women.

“We’re trying to bring in quality speakers,” Holingshed said.

Among them is Handel who the national Republican State Leadership Committee recently named to help lead a national effort titled “Right Women, Right Now” to identify 150 possible female candidates and elect at least 75 to state legislatures nationwide.

Handel, who was named to the position July 26, will co-chair the initiative with former Massachusetts lieutenant governor Kerry Healey.

“They’re encouraging women to support the party and get ready to be candidates,” Holingshed said. “They’re trying to encourage them to run for office from school board on up.”

A Roswell resident, Handel has served as president of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Fulton County Commission, deputy chief of staff for former governor Sonny Perdue, and was the state’s first elected Republican secretary of state. She lost in a runoff to Nathan Deal for the 2010 Republican nomination for governor.

Handel also is former senior vice president for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, overseeing its federal and state policy efforts.

She is the author of a new book, “Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.” Scheduled for a Sept. 11 release, the book chronicles the events leading to Handel’s resignation from the national anti-cancer agency earlier this year amid a public outcry over its defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Holingshed said the event can accommodate up to 100 people. It is set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Greenbrooke Community Center, 149 Greenfield Road in Hiram.

Others scheduled to speak include Catherine Davis of Georgia Right to Life; Suzie Voyles of Maggie’s List, which seeks to increase the number of women in federal elected offices; Toria Morgan of Pocketbook Politics, a professional women’s group which seeks pro-business solutions to the state’s economic challenges; and Virginia Galloway of Americans for Prosperity, which advocates for free-market solutions and regulatory restraint in government.

District 9 U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, also is expected to address the conference by video. Graves is the Republican nominee for the 14th Congressional District seat this year and will face Democrat Danny Grant of Fort Oglethorpe in the November general election.

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