Georgia congressman Doug Collins insisted that President Trump will be “staying out of” the state’s special-election race for Senate between Collins and the recently-appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler.
“He’s not getting in this race,” Collins told the Georgia Recorder last week. He added that Trump “respects the senator and her position and he knows me intimately.”
Trump praised both individuals for their support during a White House address following his acquittal vote on February 6.
“She’s been so supportive, and she’s been downright nasty and mean about the unfairness to the president,” Trump said of Loeffler. He then added that Collins was a ““man who has been an unbelievable friend of mine and spokesman — and somebody that I really like.”
The president also addressed the elephant in the room with the two running against each other for the seat vacated by the retired Senator Johnny Isakson.
“I know Kelly, you’re going to end up liking [Collins] a lot. Something’s going to happen that’s going to be very good, I don’t know. I haven’t figured it out yet,” Trump said.
In the buildup to the appointment of Loeffler by Georgia Republican governor Brian Kemp, Trump repeatedly asked that Kemp appoint Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and one of the president’s staunchest allies.
But Kemp ended up defying Trump’s wishes by appointing Loeffler, a multimillionaire businesswoman who immediately began promoting her support of the president amid impeachment.
What people will learn about me is that I’m a proud patriot, a devoted wife, & a devout Christian. A life-long Republican who is unapologetically pro-2nd Amendment, pro-military, pro-wall, & pro-Trump. I am strongly pro-life & make no apologies for my conservative values. #gapol pic.twitter.com/SzY1Wywclm
— Kelly Loeffler (@kloeffler) December 4, 2019
Collin’s campaign announcement drew the ire of the National Republican Senate Committee and pro-Republican Senate Leadership Fund super Pac for deciding to run against Loeffler. The special election in November has no primaries and will include multiple candidates from both parties on the same ballot, with a potential runoff election set for January if no candidate wins a majority. The winner will see out the remainder of Isakson’s term.
But Collins brushed off the intra-party attacks, and said he expected to win the election.
“In November, we’re going to win our side and we’ll probably go into a runoff and next January you’ll visit me over on the Senate side,” he said.