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Georgia: Schaefer Hopes to Unify Regions in GOP Primary

In a GOP primary race that was shaping up to be a battle between the Athens base of Rep. Paul Broun and the Augusta base of state Rep. Barry Fleming, newcomer Nancy Schaefer said she hopes to be a Congresswoman for all parts of the northeast Georgia district.

Schaefer, a state Senator who was elected in 2004, announced her candidacy for the Congressional race last week. She said Wednesday that as she works to put her campaign team together she hopes to bring the district together in the same way that the late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R) did for more than a dozen years until his death in early 2007 after a battle with lung disease.

Schaefer is also a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and the president of the nonprofit Family Concerns Inc. — which works to promote Christian values to protect families. She described herself as the most conservative of the three Republican candidates now in the race.

Schaefer said that as she works to put her campaign team together she has reached out for guidance to her “good friend,” former state Sen. Jim Whitehead (R), who was narrowly defeated by Broun last year in the special election to replace Norwood.

“As far as a battle between Athens and Augusta, that would not be my battle,” Schaefer said. “I feel comfortable with Athens and I feel comfortable with Augusta and certainly I feel comfortable with North Georgia, which I already [represent] eight counties of. I feel good about the campaign, and our big job right now is to raise the funds we need.”

Whitehead said Wednesday that he has long relationships with both Fleming and Schaefer and is supporting both in the primary against Broun.

“Maybe I can teach both of them not to make as many mistakes as I did,” Whitehead said, referring to his surprising runoff loss to Broun last year.
— John McArdle

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