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Election '18 week in review: Hillary's remarks, Bottoms endorsement, Handel's Pennsylvania plea

Also: Which Stacey will Mayor Bottoms pick? | New ads hit the air

Georgia voters head to the polls this year to choose a new governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state, as the Peach State has some of the nation's most closely watched state, federal and local elections. Here's a look at the week of March 12-16, 2018:

The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) attacked both Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans for their past support of Hillary Clinton. The attack came in the wake of Clinton's controversial comments she made overseas, regarding why she lost the 2016 presidential election.

GOP slams Dem gov hopefuls over Hillary's remarks

► Abrams herself is speaking to the Young Democrats of Georgia on Saturday, March 17, in Marietta.

► Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle held three rallies in the first week after qualifying: in Columbia County, Rome and Gainesville. Cagle is hitting Perry on March 22, Savannah on April 6, and Emanuel County on April 17.

► GOP gubernatorial hopefuls Hunter Hill and Clay Tippins released ads last week in their campaigns that feature some pretty funny impersonations of their opponents:

Tippins also claimed victory in a straw poll conducted by the Republican Jewish Coalition of Atlanta.

► Buzzfeed.com is reporting new Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms could endorse Evans, instead of Abrams. Click here for Buzzfeed's full story.

► Secretary of State Brian Kemp released a list of 24 current and former sheriffs who are endorsing his campaign for governor. The only metro Atlanta endorsements from the list are current Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith and former sheriff Joel Robinson.

Kemp, who is making illegal immigration a central focus of his campaign, also released a statement urging passage of SB 452, a bill that would require police, court and federal officials to communicate when an illegal immigrant with a criminal record is arrested.

Kemp wants to create a database tracking criminal aliens in Georgia.

► U.S. Rep. Karen Handel said "All hands on deck" are needed in her quest to be elected to a full term in U.S. House district 6.

"After Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania, it’s clear that we need all hands on deck again in 2018," Handel wrote in an email to her supporters and contributors. "There’s no denying that the Democrats are fired up this year. They want nothing more than to strike a blow to President Trump and our House majority. There ultimate goal? To elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

"And here’s the kicker: their path to a House majority includes our district right here in Georgia."

RELATED | Handel draws four Democratic opponents; Lewis unopposed

Handel defeated well-funded Democrat Jon Ossoff in 2017 in a special election that became the nation's most expensive congressional election in history. Now, she faces four Democrats who want to flip the district from its longtime red to blue.

FULL POLITICAL COVERAGE ON 11ALIVE.COM