POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Senate field keeps growing

If you are looking for a candidate from outside of the political arena to support in the 2014 senatorial race, your candidate may have entered the race last week, no matter which party you support.

After months with congressmen and a former state official duking it out in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the two newest candidates have never held public office.

For Democrats, Michelle Nunn made waves Tuesday by entering the race. Of course, the nonprofit director has plenty of allies inside the Beltway, as the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn.

She joins Atlanta doctor Branko Radulovacki in the Democratic primary.

A day after Nunn’s announcement, businessman David Perdue threw his hat in the ring for the GOP.

“If you want different results from Washington, we just have to send a different kind of person to Washington,” Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General, said in an announcement video on his campaign website.

Perdue also has family ties to politicians, as the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who recently hosted a fundraiser for the campaign.

Other Republican candidates include U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey and former Secretary of State Karen Handel.

Unterman tours south Georgia health care facilities

She may be a suburban senator, but Renee Unterman went out of her way to understand rural health care recently, touring several facilities in south Georgia.

The Buford woman, who chairs the Ga. Senate Health and Human Services Committee, took part in a four-day tour to examine the challenges facing that portion of the state.

“It was an honor to visit Georgia’s rural health care facilities and gather feedback from some of our state’s most respected health care providers and policymakers,” Unterman said in a press release. “Working to strengthen public-private partnerships is crucial to bringing quality health care to Georgians and reducing the growing disparity between rural and urban health care networks statewide.”

While visiting facilities in Thomasville, Albany, Macon and Valdosta, Sen. Unterman was joined by several of her colleagues in the General Assembly, including Sens. Cecil Staton, Dean Burke, Tim Golden and Rep. Amy Carter.

At each stop along the tour, officials and stakeholders worked to identify possible solutions to strengthen Georgia’s health care network.

Unterman also participated in a joint statewide public forum to solicit input for both the intrastate funding formula for aging services and the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan, for which a task force was created earlier this year.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.