Doug Collins airs first broadcast ad: ‘It’s my turn to tell the truth’

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has dipped deep into her bank account to finance ads bolstering her campaign. Her chief Republican rival countered Wednesday with his first broadcast TV spot.

Speaking direct to camera, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins says Loeffler has spent part of her fortune “on slick ads telling lies – now it’s my turn to tell the truth.”

“I’m not a billionaire. I’m a state trooper’s kid, a husband, a father, an Air Force chaplain and Iraq War veteran,” he said, before calling himself President Donald Trump’s “top defender against the sham impeachment.”

“And, yes, his preferred pick for the Senate,” he said in his closing. “I’m Doug Collins. My ad may not be slick – but I approved it because it’s the truth.”

Collins has relentlessly tried to frame himself as the authentic conservative in the race against Loeffler, a former financial executive who was little known in Georgia’s political world before she was tapped to the seat by Gov. Brian Kemp in December.

About the Senate special election

The November special election for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat features 21 candidates on the same ballot with no party primary to filter out nominees.

If no one gets a majority of the vote – all but certain given the number of candidates - the two top finishers will square off in a January runoff.

Because of the dynamics, it means there’s likely to be one Republican and one Democrat in January matchup. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins is Loeffler’s most formidable GOP challenger, and polls show them in a close race. Raphael Warnock is the establishment-backed Democrat, though he faces competition from educator Matt Lieberman and former federal prosecutor Ed Tarver from his party’s base.

The race is separate from Georgia’s other U.S. Senate contest. Republican David Perdue, who is seeking a second term in office, faces Democrat Jon Ossoff and Libertarian Shane Hazel. That race, too could head to a runoff.

Loeffler has vowed to spend at least $20 million of her own fortune on the November special election to fill the final two years of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, and Collins can’t hope to match that sort of firepower.

Ad figures show he’s put more than $100,000 behind the broadcast ad, part of a strategy that also relies on grassroots campaigning and promoting key endorsements to woo Georgia’s conservative base.

Loeffler is facing 20 challengers in the November special election, a free-for-all with no party primaries to filter out nominees. The Democrats include Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Matt Lieberman, the son of former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Watch the ad here.