AJC: Brewing Republican Senate Brawl “Opens Fissure in Georgia GOP”

January 28, 2020

As the “brutal Republican-on-Republican fight” continues to escalate, new fissures open among Georgia Republicans with party leaders forced to choose sides

ATLANTA — The “bitter Republican showdown” between “political mega-donor” Kelly Loeffler and ultraconservative Congressman Doug Collins hasn’t even officially begun and already the intraparty feud is opening a “fissure in Georgia GOP.” A new AJC report today details how the upcoming “fierce melee” between Loeffler and Collins is splitting apart Georgia Republicans as it forces “state Republicans to draw battle lines within their own party at a precarious political moment.” Even Loeffler’s own Senate colleague David Perdue is refusing to support her outright.

Now, with Loeffler facing weak polling but willing to spend $20 million of her personal fortune to buy her seat again, Republicans are looking at a drawn-out and expensive fight as both candidates grow further and further out-of-touch with Georgia voters along the way.

Read more about the growing rifts in the Georgia GOP:

AJC: ‘Doubts and questions.’ Collins’ Senate bid opens fissure in Georgia GOP

  • Over the next few weeks, conservatives will be pressured to choose: Will they support Collins and his devoted grassroots supporters or a brand-new senator with the full backing of Georgia’s governor?
  • And many squeamish Republicans will be caught between the two warring camps.
  • “Every time you have an election going, there are doubts and questions raised,” said state Rep. David Clark, a Buford Republican who has not endorsed either candidate. “Who is going to win? Will there be a runoff? But, look, it’s America and they have a right to run.”
  • A battle of wills quickly emerged between Collins and Kemp, who has declined to comment about the challenger who threatens the most significant appointment he’s made since taking office.
  • Georgia Democrats were eager to feast on the Republicans’ internal warfare that could boost their own candidate.
  • Since the race is a special election with no primary to filter out nominees, the GOP division heightens the possibility that a unifying Democratic candidate can win the race outright.
  • Many Republicans, meanwhile, were eager to sidestep discussion about which Senate candidate they will back.
  • Although many top state Republican officials have met with Loeffler, who was little known in political circles before her appointment, only a handful have endorsed her.
  • Among those on the sidelines is U.S. Sen. David Perdue, a former Fortune 500 chief executive who prefers to keep his focus on his own re-election battle in November.
  • “That’s his prerogative,” Perdue said shortly after the AJC published a story about Collins running, before the senator pivoted to talk about another subject.


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