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.) made it official Wednesday after dropping hints for several weeks that he'll run for retiring Sen. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissGOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat Spicer: Trump will 'help the team' if needed in Georgia special election MORE’s (R-Ga.) seat.
“I’ll be the only candidate in this race whose first priority is to stop the runaway spending in Washington D.C. I’ve sponsored more legislation to reduce spending than any other Member of Congress from this state,” Broun said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
“Georgians aren’t interested in labels or affiliation, they’re interested in solutions. And that begins by making Washington smaller and America bigger!”
Broun, a favorite of both Christian conservative activists and Tea Party Republicans, has courted controversy with provocative remarks several times in his congressional career. He recently said “the only Constitution that Barack ObamaBarack Obama21 state AGs denounce DeVos for ending student loan reform Obama to net 0K for Wall Street speech: report Trump’s wall jams GOP in shutdown talks MORE upholds is the Soviet Constitution,” and drew national attention last fall when he said that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory were “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) has been ramping up his fundraising as he considers a bid, though he’s been tight-lipped about his interest. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) has also been making moves towards a run, as have Reps. Tom GravesTom GravesHealth talks dominate Ryan meeting Dems seek more money for IRS A guide to the committees: House MORE and Phil GingreyPhil GingreyBeating the drum on healthcare Former GOP chairman joins K Street Former Rep. Gingrey lands on K Street MORE (R-Ga.).
While Georgia leans Republican, especially in midterm elections, many Democrats are licking their chops at the idea of Broun as the GOP nominee.
But unlike in other races where a "grassroots conservative versus establishment Republican" dynamic has developed — creating the potential for nasty primary fights — many of Broun’s potential opponents also have very conservative voting records and are well-liked by the party's base.
The race will likely be expensive in the large state, and Broun starts off as a big underdog in fundraising as well: he has just $156,000 in the bank as of the end of the year, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.
Gingrey had the most cash on hand as of the end of the year, with $1.9 million in the bank, while Price had $1.6 million and has raised $250,000 in recent days, according to a fundraising email obtained by The Hill late last week.
Kingston had just under $1 million in the bank. Graves has $560,000.
Rep. John BarrowJohn BarrowOur democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget Dem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel Barrow thanks staff in farewell speech MORE (D-Ga.) hasn’t ruled out a run, and would likely be Democrats’ best hope at the seat.