Businesswoman Kelly Loeffler played up her conservative credentials and opposition to impeachment as she wasas Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's pick to succeed retiring Republican Senator Johnny Isakson.
Kemp announced his appointment of Loeffler, a financial services executive and part owner of Atlanta's WNBA team, Wednesday morning.
During a speech from the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Loeffler described herself as a senator who, like President Trump, is an "outsider" and one who would back Mr. Trump's agenda.
"I haven't spent my life trying to get to Washington. But here's what folks are gonna find out about me: I'm a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump," she said. "I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump's conservative judges."
Loeffler also condemned the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump, which was launched by House Democrats in September after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general about a July 25 phone call during which Mr. Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his political rival, and his son Hunter.
"With all of the important things to be done in Washington and here in Georgia, I am angered by the impeachment circus." she said. "I strongly oppose it and believe it is a sideshow and a distraction."
Kemp appointed Loeffler over political pressure to tap Republican Congressman Doug Collins to finish Isakson's term. A close ally of Mr. Trump, Collins is the top GOP lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee and a vocal critic of the impeachment inquiry.
Kemp's announcement of Loeffler to represent Georgia in the Senate came as the House Judiciary Committee is holding its first public impeachment hearing.
The appointment of Loeffler by Kemp reflects concern among Republicans over their ability to keep the support of women, and Loeffler said during her speech that despite what some may see in the press, "not every strong woman in America is a liberal."
"Many of us are conservatives," she added, "and proud of it."
In addition to voicing her support for Mr. Trump's agenda, Loeffler announced her support for legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks, saying that she believes "the abortion-on-demand is immoral."
"When it comes to protecting innocent life, I look to God because every life is a blessing," she said.
Isakson, 74, announced in August he would retire from the Senate due to health issues. Hefrom the Senate floor Tuesday.
A special election for Isakson's seat will be held next year, when both of Georgia's Senate seats will be on the ballot.