Some of the most conservative House members have expressed an interest in the Georgia Senate contest next year to replace retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, raising fears that a shift to the right could jeopardize what is considered a safe GOP seat, Politico reported
The party learned the hard way in 2012 that nominating candidates such as Todd Akin in Missouri can cost the support of mainstream voters. Akin said in August that victims of what he termed “legitimate rape” rarely become pregnant, a statement that cost him and the GOP the election.
Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term amid speculation that he faced a primary challenge from the conservative tea party.
Rep. Paul Broun, the only Republican so far to officially declare his candidacy for Chambliss' seat, could prove to be another Akin, Politico suggested.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” he told a church group last September, according to Politico. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Another possible contender, Rep. Phil Gingrey, a doctor, in January suggested that there was some medical justification that supported Akin’s claim that the body has ways of preventing pregnancy after the trauma of rape, Politico also noted.
The publication said GOP business leaders, however, are eager to see a more establishment-minded candidate enter the race, and many are looking to Rep. Tom Price, the former chairman of the House Republican Study Committee.
Price told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that there was still plenty of time before the election in 2014. Right now, he said his focus as vice chairman of the Budget Committee, working on “the spending-driven debt crisis,” which he described as the “greatest threat to our nation's future right now.”
“Once we get through that, then we’ll make a decision about whether or not we’ll run for re-election for a House seat or run for the United States Senate,” he added.
Other possible contenders include Rep. Jack Kingston, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Austin Scott, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
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