Loeffler Continues to Provoke GOP Infighting As “Rift” Opens and Party Refuses to Rally Around Her

December 19, 2019

Even after desperate attempts to prove herself to the GOP’s hard-right flank, Loeffler still can’t consolidate support from “skeptical” party leaders

ATLANTA — Despite political mega-donor Kelly Loeffler’s increasingly desperate attempts to prove herself to the right-wing, the “GOP firestorm” continues this week as Loeffler keeps failing to heal the intra-party wounds left by her “fiasco” of an appointment, sparking a “rift” within Georgia state government and still unable to win over “reluctant” activists — all while managing to alienate independent voters.

“Kelly Loeffler is quickly becoming her own biggest liability as she continues to provoke rifts and skepticism within her party even while she doubles-down on an unpopular divisive agenda,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “With this latest round of GOP infighting, mega-donor Kelly Loeffler is proving above all else that circumventing the voters to buy yourself a Senate seat is a losing strategy for 2020.”

Two new stories in the AJC highlight her problems, focusing both on Loeffler’s struggles to win over a “skeptical” GOP base that’s still looking for conservative challengers and the “rift” Loeffler has caused in the Lieutenant Governor’s office.

AJC: Loeffler reaches out to skeptical Georgia GOP activists

  • As Kelly Loeffler prepares to be sworn in as Georgia’s next U.S. senator, many of the grassroots activists who form the backbone of the state’s Republican Party remain reluctant to give her a full-fledged endorsement.
  • Many are taking a wait-and-see approach to Loeffler, a financial executive Gov. Brian Kemp selected for the job who is largely unknown to even many top Republicans.
  • Their hesitance will play a major factor as the political newcomer faces a steep task. Her new role will require her to almost instantly take part in impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, even as she tries to establish her political brand and fend off conservative challengers.
  • Tea party organizers have openly vouched for Collins, as have Fox News personalities such as Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity. That’s trickled down to some of the volunteers who man phone banks, crowd monthly breakfasts and hand out pamphlets door to door.
  • [Reid Derr, Chair of Bulloch County Republican Party] said the “base is skeptical of a political newcomer and wants a strong conservative.”
  • Though [Loeffler] was surrounded by politicians during her formal introduction at Kemp’s office earlier this month, several of those officials abstained from endorsing her.

AJC: Kemp’s Senate pick sparks rift in lieutenant governor’s office

  • Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s decision to stand beside Gov. Brian Kemp as he unveiled Kelly Loeffler as his pick for a U.S. Senate seat triggered the abrupt resignation of his top aide, according to senior GOP officials.
  • The fallout offers a window into the tension over Kemp’s appointment of Loeffler, a finance executive unknown to many Georgia Republican leaders.
  • Some activists pushed Kemp to tap U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to the seat instead, and many remain uncommitted as he weighs a potential challenge against her in November’s special election.
  • Several Republican senators who requested anonymity expressed concerns that Lake’s retirement could hobble the lieutenant governor’s office at a pivotal time.


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