Doug Collins 'couldn't be more proud' of endorsement from convicted criminal

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Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has teamed up with Michael Flynn as the Georgia Senate race heats up.

A vicious intra-party contest has emerged between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) in this year's special election for one of Georgia's two open Senate seats.

As Collins and Loeffler fight over who can claim the title of biggest Donald Trump devotee, Collins has won the endorsement of Michael Flynn, Trump's disgraced former national security adviser.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In May, the Department of Justice — led by Attorney General William Barr, a Trump loyalist — dropped all charges against Flynn.

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"The Obama Administration and the DC Swamp did everything it could to try to ruin his reputation and smear his good name, but General Flynn never stopped fighting to expose the truth," Collins said on Monday. "General Flynn is a hero to me and to so many Americans, and I couldn’t be more proud to have his support."

With Flynn's endorsement, Collins is cementing his image as a diehard Trump supporter.

"When the deep state came after me and President Trump, very few Republicans were willing to stand with us. Doug Collins was one of them," Flynn told Fox News on Tuesday. "He is never afraid to tell it how it is, and he will always fight for what’s right against the radical Left."

On Tuesday, Richard Grenell — Trump's former director of national intelligence and the co-chair of the "Trump Pride" campaign — endorsed Loeffler. Trump himself has stayed out of the race so far.

Collins and Loeffler are battling it out for the highest voter threshold to determine who will face Democratic nominee Raphael Warnock in the January special election. Loeffler and Collins have traded the second and third spots in the polls below Warnock.

A New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll conducted earlier this month found Warnock up by 4 points over both Loeffler and Collins. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they favored Warnock in the race, while 23% favored Loeffler, and 17% favored Collins.

While the race could be decided on Nov. 3, a crowded field with 21 candidates on the special election ballot likely means that no single candidate will win the 50 percent vote threshold needed to claim victory. If that happens, a special election will be held in January pitting the top two performers against one another.

Collins — one of Trump's most vocal defenders on the House Judiciary Committee — has claimed that Loeffler failed to adequately support Trump during his impeachment hearings.

At a virtual debate on Monday, Loeffler and Collins lobbed fiery attacks at one another, calling out everything from home decor to self-funding. Warnock, meanwhile, struck a different tone. "What we’re seeing is the typical bickering we see among Washington politicians," he said.

Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta — a role previously held by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The historic church is the site of the civil rights leader's baptism, his ordination as a minister, and his funeral in 1968. In July, another civil rights legend, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), was laid to rest at the church.

On Monday, Warnock emphasized his hope for social change in Georgia.

"What I am moved by is that in the midst of the challenges we've seen this summer, tragic flash points, George Floyd and others, we've seen a multiracial, multigenerational coalition of conscience pouring out into American streets saying 'we're better than this,'" he said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.