Meet Karen

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM KAREN

Georgia’s 6th District deserves a Member of Congress who is a proven, effective leader – a representative who really knows our community and understands that being a Member of Congress is not about a single issue, special interests, or national celebrity.  It’s about serving you and fighting for you — each and every day.

Our country is at a crossroads.  Now, more than ever, we need serious leaders who will do the hard work needed to tackle the tough issues while standing firm against the socialist proposals of the left.  I’m running for Congress, so that you have competent, honest representation — someone fighting for you and your family.

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHY

Karen is called scrappy, determined, and resilient.  She credits these qualities, along with her faith, with helping her to navigate the ups and downs of life and achieve success in business and in public service.

At 17, Karen fled an abusive home.  She found a way to finish high school and graduate with her class.  But her dream of college would have to wait, as real-life demands of a job became the priority.  Never one to let a setback hold her back, Karen was determined to make the most of herself and life.

Karen worked her way up from clerk typist to executive roles with several global companies, including KPMG and the eyecare unit of Novartis.  Karen would eventually land the role of CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, one of Georgia’s largest chambers.  Karen’s leadership skills would be tested early on – the chamber was nearly bankrupt.  Karen led the organization back to solvency and out of debt, while helping to create tens of thousands of jobs in North Fulton.

Despite her business achievements, Karen felt called to something more – to serve her community and her country.

After serving as Deputy of Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue, Karen was elected Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the first woman to hold the office.  Displaying sharp financial acumen, Karen turned a $100 million deficit into a balanced budget without raising taxes.  Karen took on a corrupt sheriff and forced her out of office after she stole $7M in taxpayer funds.  She secured passage of strict new ethics rules and led the way in the formation of North Fulton’s cities.

The people of Georgia elected Karen as their 26th Secretary of State.  Despite liberal protests and lawsuits, Karen successfully implemented photo ID for voting.  She executed an agency-wide modernization initiative, while cutting the department’s budget by nearly 20%.

In 2017, Karen won an 18-way special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, defeating Jon Ossoff in the run-off in the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history.  Karen was sworn in as Georgia’s first Republican woman ever elected to Congress.  Karen quickly distinguished herself as one of the hardest working members of the House, serving on the Judiciary and the Education & Workforce Committees, as well as the bicameral Joint Economic Committee.

During her time in Congress, Karen focused on tackling difficult issues like human trafficking and opioid addiction, successfully working for the passage of H.R. 1865, which shut down scores of sex trafficking websites and gave our law enforcement more tools to investigate, arrest and prosecute traffickers. Karen also worked with President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the largest tax cuts in decades. To find out more about Karen’s work in Congress you can visit our issues page here.

Karen and her husband Steve have lived in GA6 for over 25 years.  They share their Roswell home with their seriously spoiled Cavalier Spaniels, Abbie and Sadie.

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN CONGRESS

Karen served on the Judiciary Committee and the Education & Workforce Committee.

She was appointed as a freshman to the Joint Economic Committee, one of just several standing committees that are bipartisan and made up of both House and Senate members.

She stood up an effective constituent services operation in just two weeks and helped to resolve scores of complex situations for constituents on issues such as adoptions, veterans care and benefits, and immigration.

Karen sponsored and/or co-sponsored many bills, just a few highlights include:

      • Tax Cuts & Job Acts
      • First Step Act (criminal justice reform)
      • Immigration reform and wall funding
      • Fix NICS, which addressed loopholes in the National Instant Background Check system
      • School Safety legislation, providing millions to local schools to enhance security (GA6 schools received about $500k in grants)
      • Ensured Hyde Protections (to prohibit federal dollars for abortion) in all budget bills
      • Full funding for the 21st Century Cures Act to strengthen our country’s mental health system.
      • Numerous bills to fight the opioid crisis and combat human trafficking
      • Increased funding for community health centers (about 100 in GA)
      • 10-year funding for the children’s health care program (PeachCare here in GA)
      • Helped secure $200M transportation grant for GA400

  • “Again and again, Karen Handel has shown that she has the knowledge, experience, and will to do what is necessary to help Georgia’s 6th District. She also has the toughness necessary to help us fight and stop Congressional Democrats and their radical agenda. Electing Karen is critical for retaking the House and restoring common sense in Washington.”

    Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Former Georgia Congressman (GA-6), Newt Gingrich
  • “Karen Handel is strong, tough, and absolutely the right person to fight for Georgia’s 6th District in Congress.  She is a respected leader and a relentless advocate for her constituents and is not afraid to stand up to business as usual in Washington in order to help the individuals that she serves. I’m thrilled that she is running for Congress and offer her my unwavering support so she can rejoin our Conference in opposing the Democrats’ radical socialist vision, which will empower DC bureaucrats, while robbing the American people of their fundamental freedoms and trampling on our country’s most cherished principles.”

    House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney
  • “Karen Handel is a proven leader and tireless worker, and now more than ever, we need a fighter like Karen in Congress to push back against the Democrats’ radical agenda that would hurt families in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. She is the right person for the critical battle we face ahead.”

    House Minority Whip Steve Scalise
  • “Karen Handel quickly distinguished herself in the House as an engaged, effective member on behalf of GA6.  She’s a tested leader with the strength and experience to win this seat, help us regain the majority, and stand up against the radical agenda of the left.”

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
  • “I was so proud to see Karen Handel elected as Georgia’s first female Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives. It was such a privilege to work beside her and see first hand the zeal with which she represented the 6th Congressional District. She was a powerful advocate for her constituents and our state, and I am excited to see her enter the race to regain this seat. The 6th Congressional District and the State of Georgia need Karen Handel back in Congress, and for that reason, I am excited to endorse her candidacy.”

    Congressman Rob Woodall
  • “I worked closely with Karen Handel on the House Judiciary Committee.  She is highly competent, serious legislator.  Karen’s priorities are her constituents and good policy – not politics and national celebrity.”

    Congressman Doug Collins
  • “Karen is an exceptional leader and Member of Congress.  Vivien and I are happy to support her in this race.  She is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever known.  She is smart.  She cares.  And, she can win.”

    Congressman Austin Scott
  • “Karen Handel knows her constituents and what’s really important to them.  She’s a longtime community leader, and that’s exactly why she is the best to represent GA6 and our best to win back the seat.”

    Congressman Drew Ferguson
  • “Karen Handel is a fierce advocate for the people of GA6 and for Georgia.  She is one of the most engaged, hardest working members I know.  Karen is a strong, competent leader, and she can win back GA6.”

    Congressman Buddy Carter
  • “Karen Handel is one of the hardest working people I know. Karen has proven time and again that she is a problem solver who focuses on results rather than politics. In Congress, she established herself as a leader on the issues we care about — reducing taxes and helping small businesses; combating the opioid crisis; protecting those with pre-existing conditions and expanding health care options for all.

    Karen Handel is who I trust to represent us in Congress, and I’m proud to support Karen to be our next representative for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.”

    Senator Isakson
  • “To win in 2020, we need a strong, capable and independent leader like Karen who is prepared for the tough fight ahead, so that we take back GA6.  Karen knows and respects our community, and will represent all without favoritism.  She is a longtime leader in our state and Karen has shown time and time again that she cares about us and the issues that matter most.”

    Former Secretary of Health & Human Services and Former Congressman from GA-6, Tom Price
  • “Karen Handel knows Georgia’s 6th District, and she represents the values of the district. Karen is an experienced leader who can deliver victory and help us take back the majority in 2020.”

    Congressman Tom Graves Copy