Gov. Brian Kemp threatened to veto the bill, which could have divided Republicans between Loeffler and Collins. Kemp appointed Loeffler in December to succeed U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. The winner of November's election will serve the final two years on Isakson's term.
The bill could be amended to include primary elections for state House and Senate special elections when it’s reconsidered by the House Governmental Affairs Committee next week.
HB 757 also makes clear that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger would set the candidate qualifying period for the Senate election. For decades, the secretary of state has determined when candidates can sign up, and this legislation was designed to avoid questions and potential lawsuits about his authority to do so.