Republican candidates clamored to run in Georgia’s 10th District after U.S. Rep. Jody Hice announced that he would run for Georgia Secretary of State instead of seeking another term.
And now the race is down to two candidates in a runoff: trucking company owner Mike Collins and Vernon Jones, a one-time Democratic state representative who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Jones was initially running for governor, but he agreed to switch to the 10th District race at the urging of Trump and received his blessing as a result. Jones has since moved from metro Atlanta and into the district.
The 10th District remains a conservative stronghold in east-central Georgia, including all or parts of 18 counties. The winner of the June runoff for the GOP nomination will be the heavy favorite in the November general election.
Collins is a business owner who narrowly lost to Hice in 2014. During the campaign, he talked about his deep personal and business ties to the area and encouraged opponents to rally behind him in hopes of avoiding a runoff with Jones.
The other candidates in the eight-person GOP field included U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and state Rep. Timothy Barr.
There is also a Democratic primary with five candidates, but the Republican tilt of the district means that the GOP primary is likely to determine who occupies the seat in January.