Karen Handel as a Georgia gubernatorial candidate in 2010.
Karen Handel
The already crowded Republican primary to replace retiring Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss just got a little more crowded and ... well, maybe it couldn't get much more crazy, but the newest addition didn't make it any less crazy. That new addition is Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and, most notoriously, senior vice president of public policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the time Komen defunded cancer screening and prevention programs at Planned Parenthood.

Komen officially insisted the defunding decision wasn't political even as Handel was running around retweeting things that made it clear she saw Planned Parenthood in terms of abortion and only abortion; it turned out that Handel had pushed Komen to defund Planned Parenthood against the recommendation of the foundation's staff and a board subcommittee. After leaving Komen, she made it her mission to whine about and smear Planned Parenthood at every opportunity. She's also on the record opposing gay adoption and saying "I do not think that gay relationships are—they are not what God intended."

Handel is the only woman and the only person not already in Congress thus far in a Senate primary that includes Rep. Paul Broun, who thinks Paul Ryan's budget isn't harsh enough and voted against not only the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act but against the crappy Republican version as well; Rep. Jack Kingston, who thought the National Guard should "take a pass" on guarding events like the Boston Marathon; and Rep. Phil Gingrey, an OB/GYN who, until he was running for Senate, thought Todd Akin was "partially right" about his "legitimate rape" comments. So Handel's in good company there.

The Georgia Senate race is a serious long shot for Democrats, but not a total impossibility if Democrats land a good candidate and Republican primary voters choose someone whose extremism is a little too close to the surface.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections, Kos Georgia, and Daily Kos.

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