Tags: GOP | HHS | Tom Price | Georgia

GOP in Line to Hold HHS Nominee Tom Price's House Seat in Georgia

Image: GOP in Line to Hold HHS Nominee Tom Price's House Seat in Georgia

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary. (AP)

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Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 11:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Republican Rep. Tom Price can expect swift Senate confirmation as secretary of Health & Human Services.

And odds are now overwhelming that the 6th District (northern Atlanta suburbs) will be retained by a fellow conservative stalwart.

Last month, after President-elect Trump announced the appointment of Price, signs were strong that the physician-politician's heir in Congress would be his closest political associate: his wife, state Rep. Betty Price, a former member of the Roswell Town Council.

For a while, there was considerable evidence among Peach State Republicans that Betty would become only the second woman in history to succeed her husband in Congress while he was still alive (the other is Michigan's Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, who succeeded husband John when he retired in 2014 after 60 years in office).

"But Betty Price now has little interest in running," Phil Kent, veteran Georgia political pundity and CEO of the Insider Advantage internet news agency, told me.

Kent noted that the 6th District has three state Senate districts. Already, State Sen. Judson Hill, who represents the populous East Cobb portion of the district, has declared for the yet-to-be-called special election for Price's seat. Newt Gingrich, who represented the 6th from when it was first created in 1992 to 1998, has endorsed Hill.

Also considering the run are state Sens. John Albers, who represents Senate District 56 in the middle of the 6th Congressional District, and Brandon Beach, who represents Senate District 21 at the top of the 6th District.

In a state that has never sent a Republican woman to Congress, there is still considerable interest in former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel running for the soon-to-be open House seat in the 6th District. A onetime aide to Second Lady Marilyn Quayle during the Bush-41 administration, Handel lost a squeaker of a run-off for governor to fellow Republican Nathan Deal in 2010.

Two years later, Handel made national news when she resigned as vice-president of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure cancer charity after the group reversed a decision not to contribute to Planned Parenthood. Handel, whose resignation made her a national conservative heroine, had long advocated Komen ending its ties to Planned Parenthood.

Phil Kent noted that "the 6th is probably the most 'moderate' of the 10 congressional districts in Georgia held by a Republican — high-income, lots of transplants, fiscally conservative but less so on social issues." In 2012, the district gave 77 percent support to Sunday retail alcohol sales.

Last November, the district gave Trump 48 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Hillary Clinton and 5 percent for Libertarian Gary Johson. In the 2012 presidential election, Romney crushed Obama here by a 61-to-37 percent.  So the chemistry is probably here for a strong Democratic candidate in a special election. But so far, none has emerged.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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Republican Rep. Tom Price can expect swift Senate confirmation as secretary of Health & Human Services. And odds are now overwhelming that the 6th District (northern Atlanta suburbs) will be retained by a fellow conservative stalwart.
GOP, HHS, Tom Price, Georgia
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2016-32-28
Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 11:32 AM
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