Georgia Republican ends bid for competitive House seat

A Republican Georgia state senator is ending his bid to represent a suburban Atlanta congressional district that Democrats narrowly flipped last year.

Sen. Brandon Beach's exit from Georgia's 6th Congressional District race Thursday leaves Karen Handel as the front-runner among the GOP primary field.

Handel lost her seat to Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath in 2018 by about one percentage point. McBath, a prominent gun-control advocate, is running for reelection.

Beach said in an email to supporters that he was ending his bid because he feels he can be more effective in the state Senate.

Beach has served in the state Senate since 2013 and previously served on the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

Other Republicans in the race include commercial construction company owner Marjorie Greene and former Merchant Marine Nicole Rodden.