January 28, 2020 Atlanta: U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (center) shakes hands with members of the House before he addressed the Georgia House on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 as its Chaplin of the day. This coming just hours after news broke that Collins is preparing to challenge U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, and avoided any mention of seeking a higher office. In his sermon and closing prayer, Collins honored Rep. Jay Powell, the House Rules Committee chairman who died in November and who Collins described as a mentor. Speaker David Ralston signaled his support of the soon-to-be senate candidate, stopping short of an explicit endorsement. Collins and Ralston have a strong relationship dating back to their time as state house colleagues; Collins voted for Ralston’s speakership while deployed in Iraq. “He is my friend. He has stood by me when few would,” Ralston said.”And I don’t forget things like that.” JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Huckabee endorses Doug Collins in Georgia Senate race

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins landed the support Wednesday of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, giving him his biggest endorsement yet in his campaign to unseat fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler. 

Huckabee, who as a presidential candidate won Georgia’s 2008 primary, said he’s impressed by the four-term congressman’s “against all odds” fight against President Donald Trump’s impeachment in the Democratic-led U.S. House. 

“He unflinchingly has stood up to the Trump-hating Democrats in the House and the Trump-hating media,” he said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

“Doug didn’t become pro-life to be elected. His commitment to the worth and dignity of every human life is not a political calculation, but a deep spiritual conviction. His ability to articulate a heartfelt conservative position with uncanny clarity impressed me from the first time I heard him speak.” 

Collins and Loeffler are scrambling to lock up prominent supporters ahead of the November election, a free-for-all with no primary to filter out nominees. Several Democrats are also in the race, including the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who enjoys support from key state and national party figures. 

As both race for Trump’s support – he’s so far stayed on the sidelines – they’re also trying to lock up other party figures and outside groups who could bolster their campaigns.

Backed by Gov. Brian Kemp, Loeffler has also been endorsed by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Georgia Life Alliance and Club for Growth, an anti-tax group that has already unleashed two attack ads. 

Among Collins’ supporters is House Speaker David Ralston, who engineered an attempt to force a primary vote that could have helped the congressman. Huckabee gives him another ally to promote his message on the campaign trail.

“It’s not just that he says the right things. Doug Collins does the right things because he truly believes in the right things,” said Huckabee, who added he has “nothing against” Loeffler but that he saw the congressman as someone who has “led the charge” in Washington for conservative values.

“With President Trump proving that fighting back against the D.C. swamp works, we need more senators who aren’t afraid to go where angels fear to tread to stand for us and with us,” he said. “Doug Collins is tested, proven and consistent. And I’m proud to support him.”

Other recent AJC coverage of the race: 

More: The Jolt: Surrogate groups step up for Kelly Loeffler 

More: With three major Senate candidates, Georgia political landscape erupts 

More: Georgia Republican Senate candidates build early fundraising leads 

More: Warnock will have to take care to separate roles as candidate, pastor 

More: Georgia Senate: Warnock’s Democratic rivals are staying in the race 

More: With two Georgia Republicans racing for the Senate, eyes turn to Trump 

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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.
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