Secretary of State Karen Handel to resign

GOP gubernatorial candidate stepping down to focus on campaign

After three years on the job, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel says she’ll resign to focus her energy on her 2010 gubernatorial bid.

From the AJC:

“The people of Georgia need to know I am all in for the governor’s race,” Handel said. “This decision allows me to focus 100 percent on becoming the Republican nominee and winning in November.”

Handel said she  is resigning to steer clear of any potential accusations that she is using her office to benefit her campaign. The Secretary of State’s office oversees election and voting issues.

By stepping down, Handel also gains an edge when it comes to raising funds. Georgia law prohibits state lawmakers and elected officials from groveling for campaign cash while the General Assembly is in session. Earlier this year, Eric Johnson resigned his state Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.

The AJC says Gov. Sonny Perdue will name Handel’s replacement. In the meantime, the “The Georgia State Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers,” which the secretary of state oversees, will run wild and inflict great damage upon Georgia.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: After the jump, some “kind” words from GOP gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine’s campaign and Gary Horlacher, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)