Two more well-known Republicans have asked Gov. Brian Kemp to consider them for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat when he steps down at the end of the year, submitting their resumes to his office within hours of each other.
The first is Randy Evans, an influential attorney and U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. He was soon followed by former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican who was the runner-up to U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the 2014 runoff.
About 500 candidates have applied online to succeed Isakson, who is retiring because of health concerns. Whoever Kemp picks would stand for election in November 2020 to fill out the remaining two years of Isakson's term – and run again in 2022.
The majority of the applicants won't be seriously considered, but some of the more prominent names who will include U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, former Health Secretary Tom Price and House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, the No. 2 Republican in the state House.
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The first Democrat to compete for the seat also got in the race this week. Matt Lieberman, an entrepreneur and son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday he was entering the contest so he could be a voice for "fed up" Georgians.
Four other Democrats are running in Georgia’s other Senate race against Perdue, a former Fortune 500 chief executive running for a second term. They are: Business executive Sarah Riggs Amico, former 6th District candidate Jon Ossoff, Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry and ex-Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
Evans honed his legal reputation as an attorney for House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Gov. Nathan Deal, co-chair of the state Judicial Nominating Commission, counsel to the Georgia GOP and a Republican National Committeeman.
Kingston has transformed himself into a cable TV pundit - and defender of President Donald Trump - since his defeat. He'd focus a campaign on his grassroots organization skills and ties to the president, though his recent lobbyist work will be a liability.
“It’s an honor to continue serving Georgia in any way I can,” Kingston said in a statement, “and I fully trust the governor’s decision-making process.”
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Here’s Kingston’s full statement:
"There is no doubt that Gov. Kemp will pick an individual with a demonstrated record and committed service to the state of Georgia to be our next Senator. I've spent 30 years taking on the Democrats' misguided agenda and fighting for Georgia's families, farmers, troops, and small businesses. And I'm proud to have aggressively defended President Trump at every turn, working consistently to magnify and support his priorities of increasing economic growth and rolling back nanny-state federal policies. It's an honor to continue serving Georgia in any way I can, and I fully trust the governor's decision-making process."
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