Former Rep. Broun seeks return to Congress

One of the most colorful and conservative former members of Congress is hoping to make a comeback this year by painting one of his old colleagues as part of the “establishment.”

Ex-Rep. Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner MORE announced Wednesday that he’ll challenge Rep. Doug Collins in Georgia’s GOP primary on May 24.

Broun resigned his seat in 2014 to launch a failed bid for Senate in a crowded GOP primary. And now, he’s hoping to unseat Collins to represent a district that neighbors his old one.

The former four-term lawmaker presented himself as an outsider who would take on GOP leaders in Washington. 


“Many might think I'm crazy to run for Congress again, but I am running because our nation deserves better than our current leaders,” Broun said in an email to supporters. 

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, currently represents Broun’s former district. Running to Hice's right in the 10th district would likely be difficult for Broun to pull off.

Since leaving the House, Broun has joined a coalition of conservative groups that pushed a “Fire Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll MORE” campaign opposing the current Speaker.

And on Wednesday, Broun tied Collins to Ryan and former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE (R-Ohio).

“Doug Collins has the values of Paul Ryan, John Boehner and the Washington establishment,” Broun told a local radio station, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m the people’s congressman. He’s the establishment’s congressman.”

Collins is currently serving his second term in the House. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE appointed him to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee, which controls how legislation is considered on the floor. Lawmakers selected to serve on the panel, also known as the “Speaker’s committee,” are expected to show loyalty to their leadership’s demands.

Collins also serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Broun voted against reelecting Boehner as Speaker in 2013 and instead supported former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who had lost reelection in 2012.

During his tenure, which included a seat on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Broun expressed skepticism about climate change and evolution. A video of Broun speaking before a church group showed the former lawmaker saying that theories of evolution, embryology and the Big Bang Theory were all “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

National headlines continued when science educator and TV personality Bill Nye questioned Broun’s qualifications to serve on the House Science panel, saying “he is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology.”