GOP is trying to stop a Trump ally's Senate bid in Georgia


Two Republican groups — the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Club for Growth — are attacking Rep. Doug Collins' Senate campaign as selfish.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a staunch ally of Donald Trump, is facing a barrage of attacks from Republican groups after announcing his Georgia Senate campaign.

Collins is "everything Georgians hate about Washington," Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement, according to CNN.

McLaughlin claimed Collins was "a swamp creature" who made "an emotional, ill-informed, and selfish decision" when he chose to run for Senate.

The Collins' campaign, meanwhile, has claimed that the NRSC is attempting to sabotage its efforts. Dan McLagan, a Collins campaign spokesperson, told CNN that the NRSC was allegedly "threatening vendors, calling their clients and pressuring them to not work with us."

In addition to battles with the Republican establishment, Collins is also facing $3 million worth of negative advertising from the conservative Club for Growth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week.

The group's latest ad attacks Collins for his 2018 vote to raise the debt ceiling and increase government spending, claiming those votes were "music to the ears of [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi."

Collins decided in late January to run for the Georgia Senate seat vacated by the now-retired Sen. Johnny Isakson. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp previously appointed multi-millionaire GOP donor Kelly Loeffler to the seat until November, when Georgians will vote to decide who will fill out the remainder of Isakson's term.

Collins emerged as one of Trump's top defenders during the House impeachment inquiry, once complaining that the investigation into Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine distracted from investigations into "deep state" conspiracy theories. He later posted videos defending Trump by making false allegations about the House impeachment process.

Collins' entry into the Senate race has roiled many Republicans. His decision to run has "put two Senate seats, multiple House seats, and Georgia's 16 electoral votes in play," the NRSC's McLaughlin said in late January.

The NRSC and Club for Growth are instead rallying around Loeffler, who pledged to put $20 million of her own funds into her Senate campaign. In late 2019, Loeffler loaned her campaign $5 million, but is charging 2.41% interest on the loan. By the time the election comes, Loeffler could pocket more than $120,000 in interest, which is more than twice the average household income in Georgia.

"This multimillion-dollar battle is the GOP's nightmare scenario," Alex Floyd, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia, said in an email. Floyd called the "frantic effort" from Washington Republicans to prop up Loeffler "a divisive, expensive feud" that "they can't afford."

Democrats seems to be coalescing around the campaign of Rev. Raphael Warnock. He garnered the endorsement of Stacey Abrams, the popular Democrat who narrowly lost her 2018 gubernatorial bid, as well as the approval of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Matt Lieberman, son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), is also running as a Democrat.

There will not be a primary in this race. Instead, all candidates will appear on the ballot in November. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the two candidates with the most votes will compete in a runoff election in early January 2021.

Also up for reelection is the state's other senator, David Perdue, meaning Georgia voters will have two high-profile Senate races to weigh in on this November.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.