Georgia 2022: Republican Buddy Carter gears up for a Senate run

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is assembling a campaign team for a likely U.S. Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, a step that would make him the most prominent of the small but growing number of Republicans joining the race.

The Savannah-area lawmaker hasn’t finalized his decision yet, though two people close to him said he’s nearing an announcement. He told WGAU in a recent interview he’s “considering it very seriously and doing our due diligence” before making his decision.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in March that Carter is considering challenging Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and the victor of a January special election that made him the first Black U.S. senator in Georgia history.

Carter, a pharmacist and former Pooler mayor, was a long-time state legislator before he was elected in 2014 to succeed Republican Jack Kingston in the U.S. House. He’s staked a conservative agenda in Congress while drawing scrutiny from watchdog groups over potential conflicts of interest.

He was also among the group of six Georgia U.S. House members who voted to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory hours after a deadly mob descended on the Capitol, a decision that was rooted in false claims of widespread voting fraud.

The four-term lawmaker would be the highest-profile Republican to announce he’s entered the 2022 race, a field that also includes military veterans Kelvin King and Latham Saddler. But other big-name Republican figures are weighing a race.

The list of potential contenders includes Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and ex-U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The biggest wildcard, however, might be University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker, who has been encouraged by former President Donald Trump to run.