National Republicans tore into Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, a member of the party, on Wednesday morning after he announced his decision to challenge US Senator Kelly Loeffler, a GOP incumbent, for her seat in this year’s US Senate special election. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp appointed her late last year to fill a vacant Senate seat despite disapproval from Donald Trump. Collins is a top Trump ally in Congress.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee fears that Collins’ entry into the race could energize Democrats and hurt Republicans up and down the ballot in Georgia. US Senator David Perdue, another Georgia Republican, is also up for re-election this year.
NRSC Calls Collins’ Bid a ‘Stunning’ and ‘Selfish’ Move
“The shortsightedness of this decision is stunning. Doug Collins’ selfishness will hurt David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and President Trump. Not to mention the people of Georgia who stand to bear the burden of it for years to come,” NRSC Executive Director Kevin McLaughlin said in an angry press release on January 29. “All he has done is put two Senate seats, multiple house seats, and Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in play.
“The NRSC stands firmly behind Senator Kelly Loeffler and urges anyone who wants to re-elect President Trump, hold the GOP Senate majority, and stop socialism to do the same,” he continued.
When Collins announced his decision on Fox News’ morning show “Fox & Friends” earlier this morning, he said he was “not concerned … at all” that his entry would hurt the party’s chances in November.
“We’re ready for a good time down here to keep defending this president,” said Collins, but Loeffler, too, has repeatedly defended Trump throughout his impeachment trial.
Democrats Celebrate: ‘The Last Thing Republicans Wanted’
While GOP leaders fumed, Georgia Democrats celebrated.
“This is the last thing Republicans wanted, and they owe it all to a questionable appointment of a mega-donor with ethical issues that’s sparked an expensive intra-party fight at a time when the GOP can least afford it,” said Democratic Party of Georgia spokesman Alex Floyd in a press release on Wednesday morning. “The fact is, Georgians can’t trust Kelly Loeffler or Doug Collins to stand up for pre-existing conditions protections, reject corporate tax cuts that threaten Medicare and Social Security, and be the independent voice Georgia needs.”
A number of Democrats have already entered the race, including Matt Lieberman, former US Senator Joe Lieberman’s son.
Loeffler, a GOP mega donor who entered the Senate in early January as a wealthy business executive, has already vowed to spend $20 million of her own money to win the election.
Under Georgia law, US Senate special elections do not include party primaries. All candidates will face off in November, regardless of party. If no one gets a majority of the vote, the top two will go to a runoff.
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