David Perdue, a former chief executive of Dollar General, becomes the Republican nominee for Senate.

NYT: The contest, which will be one of the most closely watched races of 2014 and one of few where Democrats have hopes of taking a Republican-held seat, could determine control of the Senate. It will play out in a Republican-leaning state where Democrats, citing shifting demographics and an influx of minority voters, believe they can make inroads.

“Republicans just can’t afford to lose it,” said Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, “and Democrats really need to win it.”

That signals an expensive and nasty race, with millions of dollars in spending from outside groups expected.

Neither candidate has previously run for public office, and both come from prominent Georgia political families. Mr. Perdue’s cousin Sonny is a two-term former Republican governor. Ms. Nunn’s father, Sam, is a popular former Democratic senator.