Ga. GOP Senate hopefuls try to separate themselves

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:15:48 EST

GROVETOWN, Ga. (AP) — Seven Republican Senate hopefuls used their latest debate to trumpet their conservative credentials, even as they said their party must reach beyond their core base of supporters.

The Saturday event near Augusta was one of the last times the candidates will appear together before the May 20 primary.

The debate was notably absent of direct barbs between candidates, except for some veiled criticism. Still, it's clear that the scramble has begun for two expected runoff spots.

Businessman David Perdue hammered career politicians, a one-size-fits-all slap for former secretary of state Karen Handel and their three congressmen rivals.

Handel knocked the congressmen but added millionaire elitists in a clear shot at Perdue.

Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston each tried to frame his Washington record as the most conservative.

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