As a lawmaker, Representative Doug Collins is above average. As the ranking member or chair (depending on who controls the House of Representatives) of the House Intelligence Committee, he’s as strong as it gets. As a staunch defender of President Trump and his policies, Collins ranks among the top. This is why I like him and supported him to be appointed Senator by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp last year.
The woman who got the nod from Kemp, newly sworn in Senator Kelly Loeffler, has been good so far in her limited time on Capitol Hill. We haven’t been able to see how she votes on legislation, but her willingness to speak out against Senator Mitt Romney over his desire to call witnesses during the impeachment trial gives us hope that she’s at least willing to do what’s best for the country.
Both are going to be on the ballot for the “jungle primary” on November 3. That means the chances of either of them winning on the first ballot are essentially nil and a runoff will pit one of them against a Democrat. That is, unless two Democrats take up the top two spots during the primary, though that is highly unlikely in a red-leaning state.
The sides are already taking shape with the vast majority of the GOP Establishment siding with Loeffler, including the powerful National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Collins’ announced bid complicates the issue as Republicans will have to choose between the two. But those rooting for Collins will say it should have been him appointed in the first place. After all, President Trump called on Kemp to appoint Collins. They’ll say the fact that he chose Loeffler is what put the GOP in a pickle as Collins would have certainly sailed to reelection in November.
Now, things are weird.
The problem with the Collins run is that it allows the Democrats to unite behind a single candidate while the GOP is divided and will also deprive other key races of money needed to win. There's no primary in this special election. It'll be two R's against one D on one ballot.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 29, 2020
As far as I’m concerned, what’s done is done, the past is the past, and the GOP needs to hold the Senate. Therefore, I’m not picking a side on this one. Not yet, at least. What I WILL do is tell both lawmakers this: Keep it clean. Focus on what you’ll do for America and Georgia. When you go negative (as all campaigns do today), do so against the Democrats. And whatever you do, let’s not tarnish the overall Republican image in the state.
Kemp’s victory in 2018 has already rallied Democrats in the state to fight harder this year. Between the presidential election, contentious House elections, and TWO Senate elections (David Perdue has a standard election to go along with the special election to decide the next two years for Loeffler’s seat), there is a lot at stake for Georgia Republicans this year.
I would feel a lot better if Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler both vowed to not attack each other and to focus their assaults on the Democrats. This is too important for shenanigans. May the best man or woman win, as long as he or she is Republican.