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Georgia Republicans Can’t Escape 2020 As Loeffler & Collins Keep “Pointing Fingers” At Each Other In Preparation For Round 2

GOP Primary In Georgia Shaping Up To Repeat Divisions Of Republicans’ Failed 2020 Campaign Against Now-Senator Reverend Warnock

After a bruising 2020 cycle, Republicans are still ensnared in the same nasty internal battles that cost the GOP both of Georgia’s Senate seats. With former Senator David Perdue announcing today he would rather spend time at his Sea Island estate than on the campaign trail, two other losing GOP candidates — unelected (and now former) Senator Kelly Loeffler and former Congressman Doug Collins — are setting up a potential scorched-earth relitigation of their bitter 2020 battle that threatens to further stoke the flames of divisive infighting in the state.

Loeffler and Collins allies are already “pointing fingers” and blaming each other for Loeffler’s runoff defeat. Loeffler herself is openly accusing Collins of teaming up with Democrats to attack her and hurting other Republicans on the ticket. Collins allies are actively urging Loeffler to sit 2022 out, with Collins’ former spokesperson brutally describing Loeffler’s options as being “hated or forgotten.” Meanwhile, former President Trump is reportedly “very focused on McConnell and Kemp and retribution.”

“Georgia Republicans are trapped with the same failed unethical politicians who can’t stop relitigating their last campaign because they’re always looking out for themselves,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “While Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins continue their political food fight, Senator Reverend Warnock is focused on delivering for his state — starting with critical pandemic relief — and providing the moral leadership Georgians deserve during this public health and economic crisis.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘A mess.’ Georgia politicians prepare for brutal 2022 battles

  • Georgia’s election season is hardly a month in the rearview mirror, but already the battle lines are being drawn for a full slate of statewide elections and another bruising fight for the U.S. Senate.
  • “The Republican Party in Georgia right now is like a Jenga game where someone has pulled out the wrong block,” said Martha Zoller, a conservative commentator and former GOP congressional candidate. “It’s unstable and a mess.”
  • Two other 2020 Republican rivals are also ruminating on a run: Loeffler and former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who fought throughout the year for a spot in the runoff against Warnock.
  • Allies of both are pointing fingers over which Republican was to blame for Loeffler’s stunning upset defeat last month. Loeffler’s camp blames Collins for entering the race, forcing her to run to the party’s right flank, while his former hands say the infighting could have been avoided had he been Kemp’s pick for the open seat.
  • Eric Tanenblatt, a Republican operative and close Loeffler ally, said the criticism of her 2020 bid smacks of “sour grapes.”
  • “Doug getting in the race muddied all that up. It created a primary in a general election and caused a split in the party,” he said. “And it let Raphael Warnock walk into this runoff with high favorability ratings.”
  • People close to Collins, who is expected to make his decision by April, are urging Loeffler to sit this one out.
  • “Kelly can either be the person whose boredom costs Republicans the Senate twice or become a ‘Jeopardy’ answer that no one will remember the question to,” said Dan McLagan, Collins’ former spokesman. “Hated or forgotten.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The Jolt: Kelly Loeffler’s message for past (and future?) rival, Doug Collins

  • First, though, she’d have to win a Republican primary. The field is frozen until former U.S. Sen. David Perdue decides whether he’ll run, and we’ve told you why we’re skeptical about talk of a fresh Perdue campaign.
  • Then there’s her old archrival, Doug Collins, who challenged Loeffler from her right last year and finished third-place in the special election. Collins is contemplating another bid, too, but Loeffler had pointed words about that possibility.
  • Said Loeffler: “I appreciate Doug’s service to our country. I appreciate his work in our runoff. I beat Doug by six points in the general election. But the outcome is what happens when Republicans team up with Democrats to attack other Republicans. It doesn’t end well for Republicans, and it hurt us up and down the ticket…”

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