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Loeffler says she won’t drop out of Georgia Senate race after stock trade controversy

Greg Nash

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler told Politico she is not dropping out of the Georgia Senate special election despite facing scrutiny over $20 million in stock sales she made following a closed-door Senate briefing in January about the coronavirus.

“Not only am I not dropping out, but I’m gonna win,” Loeffler told the news outlet Thursday. 

Loeffler, who is married to New York Stock Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher, has said she does not control her own stock portfolio and that she was unaware of the exchanges. She has submitted documents to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, both of which are investigating trading action among senators around the coronavirus pandemic.

Loeffler’s main opponents in the nonpartisan “jungle primary” are Rep. Doug Collins (R), who is ahead in polls, and Democrats Matt Lieberman and Raphael Warnock. 

A recent internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies found Collins leading the field with 19 percent of the vote, followed by Loeffler at 18 percent, Lieberman at 17 percent and Warnock at 9 percent. Another poll from the Collins campaign found he leads Loeffler 36 percent to 13 percent. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in November, the top two will move to a runoff in January.

“And no one’s going to intimidate me into thinking that that’s the right course for our party, for our state, for our country. I’m working hard to help reelect the president. I’m working hard to win my seat and keep the Senate in Republican hands.”

The controversy around her stock trading has sparked criticism from Democrats and members of her own party.

Collins has seized the media attention surrounding Loeffler’s stock trading. 

“Instead of working for the people of Georgia for the past five months in D.C., she seems to have been working for herself,” he told Politico Thursday. “Because all she’s been able to do is have to explain her stock scandal and left her doing nothing else more than that.”

The Georgia special election, due to be held on Nov. 3 alongside the presidential and other federal and state elections, will determine who will hold the seat for the remainder of former Sen. Johnny Isakson’s (R) term, which will end in 2022. Isakson stepped down at the end of 2019.

Tags 2020 Senate elections Doug Collins Georgia Georgia Senate race Johnny Isakson Kelly Loeffler Special Election

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