GOP lawmaker slams fellow Republican over stock selloff scandal: 'I am disgusted'

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Georgia Rep. Doug Collins is challenging Sen. Kelly Loeffler for her seat this November.

The race for Senate in Georgia is getting ugly, after Rep. Doug Collins attacked appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler for selling off of hundreds of thousands in personal stock right before the market tanked due to coronavirus fears.

"I am disgusted, but I can't say that I am surprised by the actions of Loeffler and those who would put their own interest above that of the American people," Collins said Monday, according to Bloomberg's Erik Wasson.

Loeffler is one of two GOP senators who sold off hundreds of thousands of stock after an all-senators briefing on the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Loeffler also purchased between $100,000 and $250,000 of stock in Citrix, a company that sells teleworking software — something many companies are now using as employees are forced to work from home — after the briefing, according to the Daily Beast.

Loeffler has defended herself amid calls to resign.

Collins has now seized on the opportunity, apparently viewing the controversy as an opportunity to gain support for his own campaign.

Republicans had always feared a match-up between Collins and Loeffler in this Senate contest, a special election being held to fill out the remainder of retired GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson's term. All candidates will run on the same ballot in the November election. If no candidate garners at least 50% in the race, the two top vote recipients will head to a runoff.

Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have squarely backed Loeffler over Collins, even though Collins was initially Donald Trump's pick for the seat.

And they tried to force Collins out of the race, thinking that a protracted battle between Republican candidates could endanger Republicans' hold on the seat and hand it over to a Democrat, as Georgia is slowly but surely trending more competitive.

Now, those fears are materializing, as Loeffler finds herself embroiled in a controversy that has attracted loud scrutiny from her own Republican rival.

As of now, it's unclear if the face-off will change the trajectory of the race, which the political handicapping website Inside Elections rates as a "likely Republican" contest.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.