Former Rep. Doug Collins won’t enter Georgia Senate race

Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said Monday that he won’t be running for any office this election cycle, ending speculation that he could mount another Senate bid after falling short in 2020.

Collins likely would have been the most prominent Republican to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) had he chosen to run in the 2022 midterm cycle.

“I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for any office in the next election cycle,” Collins said in a statement posted to social media.

But Collins indicated he doesn’t plan to leave politics altogether at this point.

“For those who may wonder, this is goodbye for now, but probably not forever. I do plan on staying involved in shaping our conservative message to help Republicans win back the House and the Senate and help more strong conservative candidates get elected here in Georgia,” Collins said.

Collins fell short in his Senate campaign last year, coming in third place in the all-party primary behind Warnock and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). Warnock went on to defeat Loeffler in one of two runoff elections that put both of Georgia’s Senate seats in Democratic hands.

Before running for Senate, Collins served as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee during former President Trump’s first impeachment.

Georgia, a traditionally red state that went blue in 2020 for the first time in decades, is a focus for Republicans heading into 2022.

One poll conducted last month found that Collins had the most support for a Senate campaign among three potential rivals. Collins polled at 35 percent, over former NFL and University of Georgia running back Herschel Walker’s 27 percent, Loeffler’s 22 percent and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) 7 percent. 

Warnock will be up for reelection again next year in a closely-watched race that will likely determine which party controls what’s currently an evenly divided Senate.

Trump also floated Collins as a potential GOP challenger against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in December. 

Trump repeatedly pressured Kemp and other Georgia GOP officials to challenge the election results in the state, which President Biden won. Biden was the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Georgia in 28 years.

Updated at 11 a.m.

Tags Brian Kemp Donald Trump Doug Collins Georgia Georgia Senate race Joe Biden Kelly Loeffler Marjorie Taylor Greene Raphael Warnock
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