Seven debates on tap for Ga. GOP Senate hopefuls

There will be seven debates in the crowded Georgia Republican Senate primary, the state party announced Monday.

But will it be seven lucky or unlucky meetings for the GOP? The robust schedule will give the candidates plenty of time to convince voters why they should be the party's nominee to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). But it will also give Democratic opposition researchers hours of footage to comb through in what has been a gaffe-prone field. 

The itinerary doesn't include any possible debates for primary runoff, a likely scenario. There are eight Republicans in the race, and the top two vote-getters in the May 20 primary will square off in a second round on July 22. 

The debates kick off January 18, and are also slated for February 1 in Kennesaw, February 22 in Gainesville, March 8 in Macon, March 29 in Savannah, April 19 in August and May 10 in Columbus. 

Republican candidates include Reps. Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey and Paul Brown, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) and wealthy businessman David Perdue (R). Democrats have coalesced around former charity executive Michelle Nunn, who has been on a torrid fundraising pace. 

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