Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is taking aim at two of her Georgia GOP Senate opponents on earmarks, criticizing Reps. Phil GingreyPhil GingreyBeating the drum on healthcare Former GOP chairman joins K Street Former Rep. Gingrey lands on K Street MORE and Jack Kingston over federal dollars they helped secure.
Handel's campaign passed out literature, obtained by The Hill, attacking the two over earmarks at a Saturday debate.
The piece says Kingston requested 145 earmarks worth $211 million in the three years before the House banned earmarks, while Gingrey requested 58 earmarks exceeding $94 million in that span.
She also alluded to the earmarks of Kingston, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, during her closing statement of an otherwise sleepy debate after attacking Gingrey, Kingston and Rep. Paul BrounPaul BrounCalifornia lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner The Trail 2016: Let’s have another debate! MORE (R-Ga.) for failing to shrink the national deficit in their time in Washington.
"We have three members of Congress who are running and together they have 42 years in Washington. That's a lot of Washington, too much. Everything that they talk about tonight, they have had every opportunity to do. And they haven't — look at the results," she said in the debate.
Handel has some statewide name recognition from her close primary loss to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) in 2010. But she has struggled to raise money so far for this race, and is facing a crowded field that includes the three congressmen and wealthy businessman David Perdue (R).
Establishment Republicans are concerned about the primary — especially if Broun or Kingston wins.
Democrats have united around former charity CEO Michelle Nunn and are hopeful they can score an upset in the race if the GOP primary gets messy.