Georgia’s Secretary of State said Sunday she wants to replace Gov. Sonny Perdue when his second term expires in 2010.

"I am running for governor," Karen Handel told The Associated Press at the annual Wild Hog Supper, held on the eve of the legislative session’s first day.

A former chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission, she enters what is shaping up as a crowded Republican field.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine are also running and have already begun assembling sizable campaign war chests with some 18 months to go until a primary.