Senator Saxby Chambliss barely hung onto his Senate Seat in 2008. In fact, Governor Palin was called in to help him out when he had to face a tough runoff election in late November of 2008. At the time, Chambliss said:
"I was thrilled when I got the call that Governor Palin would be able to make the trip to Georgia to campaign with me the day before the runoff election."
But once Chambliss got back into the Senate, he soon forgot about those who helped gin up the energy which helped him keep his job. Over the last few years, he’s done a few things which have angered traditional grassroots voters and Tea Party groups.
In 2009, he sold out Governor Palin when he was asked about "death panels" during a Q&A with voters. Not only that, he insisted on crediting Obama for bringing the issue of health care forward:
"I commend the president for spending political capital to bring this issue to the forefront," said Chambliss. "We’ve talked about reforming health care for years, but we’ve never gotten around to it."
Of course, most recently, he angered conservatives by refusing to honor the anti-tax pledge he signed years back. Predictably, he signed on to the "fiscal cliff" deal which raises taxes on Americans.
These are just a few examples of where Chambliss has voted with Democrats instead of sticking to the conservative principles which put him in office years ago.
Alas, the Senator’s gig is up for a job review by the voters in 2014 and leaders from conservative groups across the country are already beginning to talk.
A few days ago, Debbie Dooley, who is the founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and who is also a coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots said:
"We knew the Republican leadership would cave in," said Debbie Dooley, a coordinator at national umbrella group Tea Party Patriots and a founder of the Atlanta Tea Party. "So we didn’t expend a lot of energy on this issue."
Instead, Dooley said activists in her home state of Georgia are focused on educating voters about America’s spiraling debt and seeking a replacement for Saxby Chambliss, who was forced into a runoff election in 2008 and only narrowly managed to return to the Senate.
No one has announced a challenge to Chambliss, but Georgia representatives Tom Price and Paul Broun are seen as potential candidates. Chambliss could not be reached for comment.
"If a credible candidate comes forward, then Saxby Chambliss is in major trouble," Dooley said.
In addition to that, Amy Kremer from the Tea Party Express appeared on CNN where she said (via The Hill):
"The Tea Party Express, we haven’t decided anything at this point, but I can tell you I live in the state of Georgia and Saxby Chambliss is going to be primaried. Our own senator. It’s unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives, and he has proven time and time again he’s all about the spending," she said.
"And we’re a red state, we deserve a conservative senator, a conservative senator that would stand with [Sens.] Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] and Rand Paul [R-Ky.] and Mike Lee [R-Utah] who all voted ‘no’ for this bill," she added.
The article with Debbie Dooley above mentions Georgia state representatives Tom Price and Paul Broun as possible challengers.
More notably though is the Palin-endorsed Karen Handel who ran for Governor of Georgia in 2010. If you recall, despite losing, Handel came very close in the race. After forcing her challenger into a runoff, she lost by a mere 1% of the vote.
Karen Handel would be a great addition to the United States Senate. But is she interested? Handel spoke very recently with Kevin Scholla from SarahNet Radio and stated that while the race is a little far off to give an answer, that’s she’s always willing to serve the state of Georgia. You can see more here and the following video which highlights Scholla’s very recent interview with Handel.