Handel v. Stephens

Here’s the deal — I’ve met Bill Stephens. I don’t know Karen Handel. I do know Karen’s COS who formerly ran Dylan Glenn’s campaign.

Right now, though, I will repeat what I said months ago — I’m hearing a lot about Bill Stephens and very little about Karen Handel. I’m not hearing anything negative about Handel, and of course there is negative stuff out there about Senator Stephens, though I personally don’t think it is so terrible, awful as to prove he’s unfit to be Secretary of State.

But, what of Handel? I know we’ve got supporters of hers out there. Here’s your chance to tell us why you like her. But let me put this caveat on this: There is no need to beat the hell out of Stephens while telling us why you like Karen Handel. So don’t do it. Just, why is Karen Handel the right person to be Secretary of State?


  1. ArdeliaATL says:

    I consider myself a moderate. I walk to fence a lot in elections, sometimes falling left, sometimes right. Handel seems like she is the same way and I can identify with that. I’m a woman and she’s a woman. That’s enough of a reason for me to vote for her.

  2. debbie0040 says:

    Karen has both the business and political experience neccesary to properly run the SOS office. She is very dedicated and understands the issues regarding the SOS office. She is a very likeable and straightforward person. She is one tough cookie and will stand her ground.

  3. 4ofspades says:

    I believe these have all been discussed before on PP. But here’s a summary:

    1) Lifelong Conservative Republican
    2) Has cut taxes and spending in Fulton County while in the minority
    3) Maintains the highest ethical standards.
    4) Has uncovered a bad sherriff and called for an audit that led to the identification of issues with the Tax Assessors department
    5) Was the only elected offical to call for the ouster of the BoA, and the sherriff
    6) Has executive level business experience at Ciba Vision, KPMG, Hallmark
    7) Has economic development experience as President & CEO of North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
    8) Worked in the Bush/Quayle WhiteHouse and was Dep. Chief of Staff to Gov. Perdue
    9) Is the only candidate that has the mix of business and legislative experience that is required to run the SoS office

    The better question is — Why is Bill Stephens the right person for the job?

  4. Demonbeck says:

    Thank you Erick, I, too, would like to hear more about Handel. All I know about her is that she has served only one term as a county administrator and that she worked for the Governor. Didn’t she announce for another position and back out previously?

    On the other hand you have a State Senator, with years of experience in state government and in leadership.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    The bigger question is, what is Bill Stephens employed as since he got fired from Hayslett-Sorrel last year? He cannot be working only as a senator since payments stopped last Thursday night.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    I worry about Stephens personal use of campaign funds in the past and his fines that he had to pay. That seems to be something Democrats would easily be able to use against him.

    Why not go with someone who has a strong record?

    Karen Handel. She has the business, administrative, and personal know how to do a good job. She’s someone that can build upon the position and do us proud.

  7. Three Jack says:

    Anybody else get a Stephens bumper sticker handed out last week at the capitol:

    I’m Alive and I’m Voting For
    Secretary of State

    Karen’s camp should print one as well:

    Don’t believe BS!
    Vote Handel

  8. Beth says:

    Erick, I’ll play by your rules and not attack Stephens 🙁

    I’m supporting Karen Handel for several reasons and here are a few: I’m a Fulton County taxpayer so I’ve seen first-hand the impact that Karen Handel has had on my county. She’s uncovered corruption and single-handedly run a corrupt Sheriff (Jackie Barrett) out of office. No one on the Board of Commissioners — including the two Republicans — joined her in that fight. She’s also uncovered fraud and mismanagement in the Tax offices and led the charge for their resignations and changes in how the office functions. She’s fought for the passage of balanced budgets without tax increases and supported caps on property tax assessments. She’s done all of this in a very difficult environment and managed to have a real impact on my county.

    But, there’s more to it than that. She worked in the Bush-Quayle administration and for Governor Sonny Perdue. And, if you look at her resume or bio you see that’s she’s had a lot of corporate/executive experience. She’s been the President of a Chamber of Commerce and held positions with several international companies. I think we are all better served when our candidates and elected officials have business and political experience. I’ve seen Bill Stephens speak several times and he never talks about private sector experience. I mean, never. I have no idea what he does for a living. This isn’t a criticism, I just don’t know. Casey Cagle talks regularly about his experience in business and banking.

    Finally, I’m a big supporter of the Governor and the Republican Party and I think — politically speaking — that the party and our ticket are much better served by having a women on it, particularly one from metro-Atlanta (no offense Kathy Cox). This will be even more important if, a) Cathy Cox is the democrat nominee; and, b) if Ralph Reed is our candidate for Lt. Gov.

    For me, supporting Karen doesn’t have as much to do about Bill Stephens as it does with her. I think as the campaign kicks-in with advertising and people start paying attention people are going to be surprised by the amount of support she has all over the state.

  9. JRM2016 says:


    I hope you have a chance to meet Karen too. I wasn’t sure who I was going to support in this race, kind of in the same situation in that I knew who Senator Stephens was but was not familiar with Karen.

    I had the opportunity to visit with her several months ago at a Fayette County GOP meeting and hear her speak about her campaign. Here are, I think, a few points that merit your attention about reasons FOR Karen as opposed to reasons against Bill.

    The Secretary of State is an executive job. He or she must carry out the duties of the office and administer an agency with a large budget and numerous employees. Karen is now serving as an chief executive of one of the largest local governments in the State. Furthermore, she knows about being an executive from her work as CEO of the North Fulton Chamber and her executive position at CIBA Vision. In summary, we need someone with a proven track record of making a difference as a chief executive. Karen has that track record, just look at what she has done in Fulton County:

    –Returning $35 Million to the treasury after insisting on audits of county departments

    –Forcing the resignation of the County Sheriff by insisting on an audit of the Fulton County Jail that found widespread fiscal abuse by his office

    –Completely overhauling property tax assessments after revealing that the assements had been arbitrarily made by the Board of Assessors

    Keep in mind she has done this with a Board of Commissioners often hostile to her and in just the last two and a half year period.

    The vision or program a candidate articulates is obviously important, and Karen has made it clear she is going to bring the same bold leadership to SoS as she has in Fulton County by:

    –Overhauling our licensing board system to make it fair and easier for professionals all over the state to practice their profession while maintaining important standards

    –Beefing up the Securities and Regulation Division of SoS to protect against fraud, which she has a proven track record of doing on the Fulton County Commission

    –Cleaning up the Elections Division, which for too long has been a bastion for Dems to protect themselves from SoS oversight

    Hopefully that gives you some substantive reasons to take a look at Karen.

    Also, I would mention that the level of commitment one may expect from a candidate can often be measured by his or her level of activity in getting their campaign moving. I must take exception to the comment on another thread that Karen’s infrastructure is lacking. She has been to my neck of the woods (Muscogee County) three times in the last two months with additional visits already scheduled. I have been told by my GOP friends across the state (Henry County, Houston County, etc.) that she is making her presence felt.

    I always try to honor Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment and so have little to say about Senator Stephens other than this: from the time Karen announced until I met her people kept telling me that:

    –she was homosexual;
    –she supports gay rights;
    –she is liberal

    I don’t know who was responsible for these charges and frankly I do not care. I do know that Karen has been happily married for a number of years, that her husband Steve is a success story in his own right and supportive of his wife. I also know that Karen has been steadfast in her commitment to conservative principles, as evidenced by her selection by Republican leaders from Dan Quayle to our Governor. Whatever criteria you maintain for voting for this office, know that all the candidates are conservative.

    Thanks for this wonderful resource to exchange thoughts and ideas on GA politics.

  10. tobin smith says:

    I’m supporting both Stephens and Reed because they are the genuine conservative candidates in these races. We don’t need people who will cave into the homosexual crowd or miss important votes on eminent domain.

    We need people we can trust to uphold our values. Cagle has shown he cannot be depended on and Karen, well her record speaks for itself.

  11. northside elephant says:

    I’ve got to say that this is really one of those races that is largely unpredictable. Polls and opinions aside, down-ballot races can go either way in a situation like this. Karen’s previously mentioned COS has experience in running a constitutional officer race, so to does Bill’s people.

    They are tough because there is less money, smaller staff and just less interest from voters. Many voters leave the SOS part of the ballot unmarked (voter drop-off phenomenon) and many more will not make up thier minds until within the final 2 weeks.

    I have yet to hear anything convincing one way or the other and I am very familiar with both candidates. This is a toss up so far.

  12. Bill Simon says:

    I would have been nice to the Stephens’ campaign, but, since Bill Stephens and Clint Austin like to pass around their inspirational lies about Karen Handel that they scribbled on scraps of toilet paper while doing their business, there is no need to play nice. There is a need, however, to steamroll them, jump up and down on their bodies, and then donate their carcasses to a rendering plant.

    But, maybe that’s just me…

  13. atlantaman says:

    I don’ t think there is as much drop off down ballot with the new electronic voting.

  14. MikeS says:

    I think the three candidates that we need to elect are Stephens, Cagle, and Kemp.

    I like them as well.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Wow! Mike, Mountain, and HJ are certainly on their knees servicing Bill Stephens with a whole lot of enthusiasm. You guys on his payroll?

  16. Beth says:

    Looks like they are part of the crew that believes that if your a State Senator, you are automatically qualified for higher office. Guess they don’t understand that the legaslature doesn’t run anything. That’s up to the Gov., counties, and cities.

    What the SoS office requires is a combination of legaslative and business experience, as well as a proven ability to execute.

    HANDEL ’06
    Cagle ’06

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