Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler,leaves a House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Georgia GOP members face difficult choice between Collins, Loeffler in Senate race

Now that U.S. Rep. Doug Collins has made his Senate run official, other Georgia GOP members in the House have a difficult decision to make.

Most count Collins not just as a colleague but a friend. However, endorsing him over U.S. Sen Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat by Gov. Brian Kemp, risks alienating Republican powers-that-be back home.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said Collins’ decision to challenge Loeffler for the seat creates an “awkward situation.”

He described Collins as a “fine member of the House and a good friend” whose relationship dates back many years.

“I’m going to continue to work with him,” the  Pooler Republican said. 

But Carter also had nice things to say about Loeffler.

“She has, I think, done an outstanding job thus far,” Carter said. “She is our sitting senator, and I’ll continue to work with her.”

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, described Collins and Loeffler as “two absolutely great candidates” who each would reliably support conservative causes in Washington.

But he was tight-lipped -- literally -- when asked whether he would endorse either candidate.

Ferguson declined to answer the question. Instead, he pressed his lips together and shrugged his shoulders.

Carter said he doesn’t know yet if he will endorse anyone.

“It makes for a very difficult situation, as you can imagine,” he said. “But, fortunately, the good news is we’ve got two fine candidates.”

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About the Author

Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell is the AJC’s Washington correspondent.