Haley highlights Georgia backers ahead of March 12 primary

Nikki Haley’s campaign unveiled its slate of Georgia supporters ahead of a pivotal stretch in her bid for the Republican nomination against former President Donald Trump.

Her state leadership team includes several lawmakers, well-known Republican operatives and executives. It’s led by state Reps. Scott Hilton and Deborah Silcox; Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and Eric Tanenblatt, the GOP financier.

“She’ll be a force in Washington who can make it clear to the do-nothing establishment that the status quo is unacceptable,” said Silcox, who represents a Sandy Springs-based district.

It’s meant to serve as a counterweight to the increasing number of Georgia officials siding with Trump ahead of the state’s March 12 primary. And it signals that Haley’s campaign is making plans beyond the Feb. 24 vote in her home state of South Carolina.

That primary will serve as the biggest test yet for Haley, a former two-term South Carolina governor who later served as Trump’s U.N. ambassador. Most polls show Haley trailing Trump by double-digits.

Haley has faced growing calls from Trump supporters in Georgia to quit the race after the former president’s back-to-back-to-back wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Trump’s allies in Georgia include Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, dozens of state legislators and leaders of the Georgia GOP.

But other prominent Georgia Republicans have remained on the sidelines. Chief among them is Gov. Brian Kemp, a Trump critic who has argued only a sliver of GOP voters have so far had the chance to cast their ballots. The three-week early voting period in Georgia starts on Monday.

Haley’s Georgia backers include former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice David Nahmias, developer Steve Selig, Watkinsville Mayor Brian Brodrick, ex-Justice Department official Joe Whitley and Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler.

“Our leadership team knows the Peach State better than anyone,” Haley said in a statement, “and they know that it’s time to get back to the basics: grow our economy, secure our border, and get our kids reading again.”

Here is the list of Haley’s Georgia team:


  • Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs, former State Senator and former Chair of the Georgia Republican Party
  • Scott Hilton, State Representative
  • Deborah Silcox, State Representative
  • Eric Tanenblatt, Former Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue


  • Bill Werkheiser, State Representative
  • Brian Brodrick, Mayor of Watkinsville
  • Stacy Skinner, Johns Creek City Councilwoman
  • Eric Johnson, Former Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Meagan Hanson, Former State Representative
  • Fran Millar, Former State Senator
  • David Nahmias, Former Chief Justice of GA Supreme Court and former US Attorney
  • John Bardis, Former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services under President Trump
  • Lee Adrean, Former Corporate Vice President and CFO of Equifax
  • Yolanda Adean, Former Atlanta City Councilmember
  • David Allman, Owner and Chairman of Regents Partners
  • Leah Aldridge, Co-Chair of Women for Nikki
  • Eliot Arnovitz, Partner, M&P Shopping Centers
  • Tom Bell, Chairman, Mesa Capital Partners
  • Gerry Benjamin, Owner, Atlanta Equity Investors
  • Andy Bodea, Advisor, Goldman Sachs and former COO of Equifax
  • Niles Bolton, Chairman, Niles Bolton Associates
  • Barry Boniface, Partner, MSouth
  • John Brock, Former Chair & CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises
  • Doug Chalmers, Managing Member, Chalmers, Adams, Backer & Kaufman LLC
  • Molly Dye, Former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell
  • Philip Ellender, President, Koch Companies Government Affairs
  • Mark Ellis, Entrepreneur, Advisor & Investor
  • Joe Estes, Business Leader
  • Mary Beth Estes, Activist
  • Emanuel Failkow, Chairman TMB Holdings, LLC
  • Stacy Fialkow, Chief of Staff, Jewish Family & Career Services
  • Bryan Fields, Owner, Fields Family Ventures
  • Adam Fuller, CEO, ATF-Holdings
  • Michael Gearon, Investor
  • Shane Jackson, President of Jackson Healthcare
  • Bill Jordan, Former DOJ Official and Former Chair of State Ethics Commission
  • Andrea and Mark Kaufman, Former CEO of Kauffman Tires
  • Phyliss Kozarsky, Physician
  • John McMillan, Activist
  • Tony Ressler, Co-founder & Executive Chairman of Ares Management Corp. & owner of the Atlanta Hawks
  • Jim Rhoden, Chairman, Futren Hospitality
  • Cammie Rice, Author, Speaker, Philanthropist
  • John Rice, Retired Vice-Chairman, General Electric Company
  • Cathy Selig, Co-owner and Senior Vice President, Selig Enterprises, Inc.
  • Linda Selig, Co-chair of Women for Nikki
  • Steve Selig, President and Chairman, Selig Enterprises, Inc.
  • Robert Sheft, CEO, Installation Made Easy
  • Greg Shumate, CEO/Managing Partner, Capital City Home Loans, LLC
  • Tammy Shumate, Director of Corporate Development, Capital City Home Loans, LLC
  • Mary Burns Tanenblatt, MD
  • Joe Whitley, Former General Counsel for U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Former Senior DOJ Official
  • Tammy Gay Woodward, Community Volunteer
  • Price Woodward, Retired Principal at Edward Jones
  • David Zalik, Entrepreneur, Founder of GreenSky