Former Trump aide gains support from two rivals in GOP congressional runoff

Brian Jack, center, a former aide to Donald Trump, picked up endorsements Wednesday from two of his rivals in the May 21 GOP primary in the 3rd Congressional District, former state Sen. Mike Crane and former state Rep. Philip Singleton. Jack faces former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan in a June 18 runoff. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Brian Jack, center, a former aide to Donald Trump, picked up endorsements Wednesday from two of his rivals in the May 21 GOP primary in the 3rd Congressional District, former state Sen. Mike Crane and former state Rep. Philip Singleton. Jack faces former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan in a June 18 runoff. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Former Donald Trump aide Brian Jack picked up endorsements from two of his top rivals Wednesday as he aims to win a June 18 runoff for a solidly conservative U.S. House seat in West Georgia.

Jack’s campaign hopes the blessings of former state Sen. Mike Crane and ex-state Rep. Philip Singleton — who finished third and fourth place, respectively, in the May primary — will propel him to a win over Mike Dugan.

The two join other conservative figures who back Jack’s campaign, including the former president and several of his MAGA allies.

Jack bested Dugan in every county in the district but Carroll, the former Georgia Senate GOP leader’s base. But Jack’s campaign hopes the endorsements help him improve his margins in other parts of the territory, particularly Crane’s home of Coweta County.

“We can send someone who has built and developed relationships, based on trust and integrity, that will be necessary to promote the ideals we know are fundamental to the future security and prosperity of our nation,” Crane said in his endorsement.

Former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan faces Brian Jack, a former aide to Donald Trump, in a June 18 runoff for the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District. Dugan is emphasizing his conservative credentials on the campaign trail, taking credit for GOP-backed measures such as rewriting voting rules, setting new abortion limits and expanding gun rights backed by Gov. Brian Kemp and other party leaders. (AP Photo/Jason Allen, File)

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Although the race to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson is Georgia’s most competitive congressional contest this election cycle, it hasn’t attracted blockbuster attention. The rivals largely agree with each other on key issues, including immigration and tax policy, and each supports Trump.

Turnout was low in the primary, and the candidates mostly avoided slugging each other. Still, it quickly became a test of Trump’s brand in a district stretching from Atlanta’s western suburbs to the Alabama state line that was drawn by Republican legislators to guarantee a GOP victory.

In the first round, Jack used his formidable fundraising advantage to blitz the airwaves with TV ads touting the former president’s support.

He relentlessly linked himself to Trump’s agenda, telling voters to recall “how successful they were” when Trump was in the White House as they sought a House member who could carry out his agenda.

Dugan, meanwhile, has tiptoed around the endorsement and stressed his own conservative credentials. He leaned into his record as one of the state Senate’s top Republicans, taking credit for GOP-backed measures that included rewriting voting rules, setting new abortion limits and expanding gun rights backed by Gov. Brian Kemp and other party leaders.