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Democrat Michelle Nunn enters Georgia Senate race

July 23, 2013

CLARKSTON, Georgia (AP) — The race for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat started to take shape Monday as Democrat Michelle Nunn announced plans to run for her father’s old seat, joining a crowded field of Republicans contenders.

Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia and CEO of one of the nation’s largest volunteer organizations, moved quickly to define herself as someone with the experience to set aside partisan rancor and build coalitions to solve the nation’s problems.

“Wherever I go in Georgia people speak of their frustrations with what’s not happening in Washington, that there is a focus on fighting instead of getting things done,” Nunn said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I believe in the power of individuals to create change when they join together.”

Nunn, 47, becomes the first well-known Democrat to enter the race for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican. Democrats see Nunn’s candidacy as a chance to make inroads in a southern state that they once dominated, but where Republicans now control the top statewide offices. Some say demographics are trending in the Democrats’ favor. Republicans are making a push gain the six seats they need to win control of the U.S. Senate and cannot afford to lose the seat now held by Chambliss.

Michelle Nunn clearly hopes that talking about issues like reducing the federal deficit will position her well in a general election matchup. Nunn said she wants to work across party lines and pointed to her work as CEO of Points of Light, which was founded by former President George H.W. Bush, a Republican.

Nunn’s father, a moderate Democrat, served in the Senate from 1973 to 1997.

On the Republican side, U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta and Jack Kingston of Savannah — along with former Secretary of State Karen Handel — have entered the race.

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Follow Christina Almeida Cassidy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Christina.

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