Retiring Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.) thinks the race for his seat will be a close one, though he says he thinks businessman David Perdue (R) will edge out former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) this fall.

"You can't rule out her having a chance," he said of Nunn. "She's collected a lot of money; she's going to be the focal point of a lot of fundraising on the Democratic side; a lot of out-of-state money will come in in support of her. So yeah, I've told David he's going to have his work cut out for him."

Chambliss said he was looking forward to seeing Perdue in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday during a fundraising visit, calling him a "friend."

He also described Nunn as a "very nice person" and said he still considers her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), a "mentor."

"I've known her dad, obviously, a long, long time. He's very much a mentor to me still. We talk frequently," he said.

Chambliss said Georgia's conservative lean means the race "leans our way," and said Perdue was getting ready for a hard-fought fall campaign.

"Anytime you have a change like this, there's always the opportunity for a Democrat to come in and really make a strong showing," he said. "David, he knows he's going to have a fight on his hands. But he's gearing up for it."

Polling has found a close race since Perdue won his primary earlier this month, but it's unclear how much the embarrassing leak of a memo detailing Nunn's overarching campaign strategy will impact the race.

This post was updated at 5:55 p.m.