House Committee on the Budget Chairman Tom Price’s seat will soon be vacant since he was recently tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as the secretary of Health and Human Services, but the six-term congressman is confident Republicans can hold onto his district.
Democrats are working to secure a solid candidate, viewing the seat as competitive since Trump only carried the district by one point, according to Roll Call.
“No names yet, but the DCCC will be assessing this district closely in the coming weeks and will not leave any potential opportunities on the table,” a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
While the presidential race may have been close this year in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Republicans in the House have managed to capture the district by large margins for decades.
Price assured that he thinks the chances of Democrats pulling off an upset are unlikely in a special election if his nomination is confirmed.
“I don’t think so, we’ll be fine,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Price said he doesn’t have any favorites in terms of successors either as a congressman or chairman of the Budget Committee, but hopes to stay in the role until he assumes his next position.
“We’ll let that play out,” he said. “There are a lot of good folks looking at each.”
On the Republican side, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who ran unsuccessfully for both governor and Senate is a top contender for the position. She served as senior vice president of public policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure until 2012, when she resigned due to the organization’s decision to restore funding to Planned Parenthood.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, who heads up the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, was elected to Georgia’s state legislature in 2012. He also serves as the chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee and as the secretary of the Transportation Committee at the state level.
State Rep. Betty Price, Price’s wife, was also floated as a potential contender, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Price — a former orthopedic surgeon and strong critic of Obamacare — has extensive experience in healthcare policy, having helped craft the GOP’s “A Better Way” policy agenda on the issue. The incoming Trump administration cited his expertise in the area as rationale for the powerful position.
“He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American,” Trump said of his nominee. “I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services.”
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