Georgia race shows Shinseki is now toxic

Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Georgia, is calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.

Nunn, who Democrats hope can pull off an upset in Georgia's Senate race this fall, said new leadership is needed at the VA after reports that dozens of veterans have died as they wanted for care at facilities around the country. 

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“It has become increasingly clear that we need new leadership to build confidence, focus and accountability at the VA to fix what is wrong with the agency," Nunn said in a statement. "I hope that General Shinseki will step aside to allow for fresh leadership to tackle these pressing issues and support the veterans that the General is deeply committed to serving.”

Nunn is the the third Democratic Senate candidate to call for Shinseki to step down after Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky and Rick Weiland in South Dakota.

Grimes, who is trying to knock off Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), even beat her opponent to the punch by calling for Shinseki to step down first.

Nunn’s Friday comments are a significant step beyond her first remarks on the issue, made earlier this month at a Democratic primary debate, that she “defer[s] to the president’s judgment about the leadership that will be necessary to ensure that accountability and that transparency.” 

Republicans pounced on Nunn when those comments went public, with Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox saying her “decision to defer to President Obama on the future of embattled Secretary Eric Shinseki speaks volumes about her decision making process. ...It’s clear Michelle Nunn will be nothing more than a rubberstamp to President Obama’s liberal agenda.”

Democrats are hopeful for Nunn's chances at picking up retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss' (R-Ga.) seat, despite the Republican lean of the state, because of a protracted primary battle for Republicans and her own compelling candidacy.

The developing VA scandal has, however, given Republicans nationwide an opportunity to knock the Democratic Party as inept and ineffective.