Rep. Phil Gingrey announces run for Senate - CBS46 News

Rep. Phil Gingrey announces run for Senate

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Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., (R-GA) Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., (R-GA)

Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., R-GA, announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in his hometown of Augusta Wednesday morning.

Gingrey also held a news conference at Georgia Tech, where earned his undergraduate degree, at 2:30 p.m.

The seat comes available after Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, announced his retirement in January.

During his remarks, Gingrey highlighted his lifetime as a physician, his conservative principles and his desire to serve Georgians.

"I will be a senator that is consumed in everything I do by a moral obligation to provide our children and grandchildren with even more opportunities than our parents and grandparents fought for and sacrificed for us," said Gingrey.

He also took several shots at President Barack Obama.

"The opportunity thieves are President Barack Obama and this liberal reckless government spending and job-killing policies," said Gingrey.

But the representative is surrounded with some controversy.

Back in January, Gingrey made comments supporting Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's now infamous comments regarding "legitimate rape." Gingrey later said his comments had been misconstrued and retracted them.

Political strategist Chris Huttman said it's controversial comments like those that could end up hurting him.

"I don't know if that comment in isolation will hurt him too much, but definitely the biggest problem for him is if he gets a reputation as someone who is gaff-prone," said Huttman.

He said another red flag for Gingrey is that he hasn't been in a tough race in years, so he could be rusty. Huttman also said Gingrey's experience could end up backfiring as the state continues to turn more liberal.

"Democrats look at anybody with a record in Congress as a ripe target for finding those votes, finding the conflicts of interest and exposing them to the voters," said Huttman.

So as of right now there are just two people in the race, Gingrey and Rep. Paul Broun. Gingrey said he's sure more people will join, but he's confident he'll be the one to come out on top.

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