U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler flanked by Gov. Brian Kemp (L) and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser (R) speaks during a press conference at the First Care Women’s Clinic in Marietta Friday, February 14, 2020. (Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Georgia Senate: Anti-abortion group backs Loeffler’s bid

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler landed the endorsement Tuesday of a prominent anti-abortion organization as she races to lock up support ahead of a messy November election against fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins and other candidates. 

The National Right to Life Committee’s president, Carol Tobias, called Loeffler “one of the strongest and most vocal pro-life advocates in Washington” and praised the former financial executive’s support for abortion restrictions in Congress.

“She is exactly the type of conservative leader that will stand up for Georgia’s values and deliver meaningful results on the issues that matter most,” said Tobias. 

It’s among several prominent anti-abortion groups that have lined up behind Loeffler in the Republican-on-Republican contest, although the committee’s support didn’t come with the note of drama that previous endorsements offered.

The head of the Susan B. Anthony List, which also seeks to restrict abortions, backed Loeffler in February. It was a stark reversal: She had previously declared Loeffler should be “disqualified” from serving, but said she changed her mind after getting to know the new senator. 

And after the Georgia Life Alliance announced it would spend $3 million to back Loeffler’s campaign, Collins pronounced it “more than fishy” that a group that struggled to raise significant cash could suddenly bankroll such an aggressive buy.

Loeffler’s allies pointed to the National Right to Life Committee’s endorsement as a sign Loeffler has consolidated support from anti-abortion groups. Another Georgia-based organization, the Family Policy Alliance, also backed her campaign.   

The ultimate treasure in the race for endorsements is President Donald Trump, who could effectively end either campaign with a few strokes on his smartphone. But the president has not yet weighed in, aside from praising both candidates and briefly suggesting he could find a compromise to clear the field.

That’s left both campaigns scrambling to lock up support ahead of a 21-candidate November special election with no party primary to filter out nominees. 

Gov. Brian Kemp has tried to rally the party’s establishment around Loeffler, who nabbed support from Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. She also has the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and several local conservative groups

Collins has responded with recent endorsements from U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson -- the first Republican member of Georgia’s congressional delegation to take sides – as well as Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald and several law enforcement officials

Loeffler has also opted to dig deeper into her bank account to counter scrutiny over her stock transactions during the pandemic. She plans to spend about $4 million to air a trio of ads that highlights her response to the disease and blasts scrutiny of her stock market moves as “liberal lies.” 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.