Washington — A major pro-Trump super PAC has endorsed GOP Congressman Doug Collins in his challenge to Senator Kelly Loeffler, also a Republican. Collins is running to unseat Loeffler in the November special election.
"Collins is exactly the type of leader Georgia needs in the U.S. Senate," Ed Rollins, chairman of the Great America PAC, said in a statement. "In a very short time, Kelly Loeffler has proven she puts protecting her personal wealth well before protecting her constituents. This type of behavior is exactly what's wrong within the DC swamp and must be rooted out."
Collins announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in Georgia earlier this year, teeing up a showdown with Loeffler, who was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp in December to replace Republican Senator Johnny Isakson.
While Great America PAC calls itself as the "premiere pro-Trump super PAC," Politico reported in December that the group, among others, has been shunned by the president. Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for Loeffler, questioned its clout with Mr. Trump.
"Doug Collins is actively touting support from a group that President Trump and his representatives have denounced? That's a typical Washington politician for you," he said in a statement.
Loeffler, a financial services executive and part owner of Atlanta's WNBA team, immediately won the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, both of which work to ensure thee GOP maintains its majority in the Senate.
But the freshman senator has since come under scrutiny after she and her husband sold millions of dollars worth of stock in late January and early February, before markets tanked because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Daily Beast reported the stock trades took place as Congress was receiving briefings from the Trump administration on the coronavirus outbreak.
Loeffler has denied any wrongdoing and said the investments were made by her financial adviser without her knowledge. Earlier this month, she and her husband, who is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, announced they would be selling their holdings in individual stocks to "move beyond that distraction."
There are 20 candidates running in the special election, which is set to take place November 3. Both of Georgia's Senate seats are on the ballot, and Democrats are eyeing the state for a possible upset as they seek to take control of the upper chamber.
Loeffler is facing a "jungle primary" in November, meaning she and every other candidate will be on the same ballot. If no candidate breaks 50%, a runoff will be held in January.
While Collins has been a staunch defender of Mr. Trump, especially from his perch as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment process, the president has not endorsed a candidate in the Senate race.