Rep. Doug Collins Announces Bid for Senate, Drawing Ire of GOP Group

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Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia announced Wednesday he is running for the Senate in a November special election, leading to a division among Republicans.

“We’re in for the Georgia Senate race down here. I’ve still got a lot of work left to do to help this president finish this impeachment out, and we’re going to make a bigger announcement down here in Georgia,” he said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends,” according to Fox News.

The seat Collins seeks is currently held by Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of former Sen. Johnny Isakson.

At the time, Trump supported Collins, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and who repeatedly denounced impeachment during the House impeachment process.

Word that Collins was running led to some criticism from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, however. The NRSC’s perspective was that having two Republicans in the race converts a safe GOP win into a possible runoff that might not go the GOP’s way.

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“The shortsightedness in this decision is stunning,” NRSC Executive Director Kevin McLaughlin said in a statement. “Doug Collins’ selfishness will hurt David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and President Trump. Not to mention the people of Georgia who stand to bear the burden of it for years to come. All he has done is put two senate seats, multiple house seats, and Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in play. The NRSC stands firmly behind Sen. Kelly Loeffler and urges anyone who wants to re-elect President Trump, hold the GOP senate majority, and stop socialism to do the same.”

Collins tweeted back a reply.

“Don’t be ridiculous, this is FAKE NEWS coming from the head of a Washington-based group whose bylaws require him to support all incumbents, even unelected ones,” Collins wrote.

Others are also choosing sides.

The conservative Club for Growth is launching an ad campaign against Collins, according to Politico.

“Over the next month, Club for Growth will educate Georgia voters about Doug Collins’ record on economic issues and demand that he change his ways,” David McIntosh, the president of the nonprofit, said in a statement.

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But Collins has a major Trump supporter on his side in Rudy Giuliani, who tweeted his support on Wednesday.

“Good luck to a great American,” the former New York City mayor wrote.

Dan Eberhart, a wealthy GOP donor, said he is also backing Collins.

“This is Mitch McConnell’s worst nightmare,” Eberhart, an energy executive from Arizona, said, adding that Collins has “a MAGA following,” according to the Washington Examiner.

Do you think Collins should have joined the race?

The rules for the special election, which will feature Collins, Loeffler and at least two Democrats, are that the election pits all candidates against each other. If no one secures a majority, the November vote will be followed by a January runoff.

Loeffler did not respond to the announcement that Collins was in the race, but she has said she is prepared to spend $20 million to keep her seat, according to Fox.

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