Georgia governor to tap Loeffler for Senate over Collins

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is reportedly expected next week to select financial executive Kelly Loeffler to fill the Senate seat to be vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOvernight Health Care: New drug price hikes set stage for 2020 fight | Conservative group to spend M attacking Pelosi drug plan | Study finds Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states New Georgia senator takes spot on health committee Loeffler sworn in to Georgia seat MORE, who is stepping down at the end of the year due to health issues.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Kemp is slated to announce Loeffler as his pick next week, a move that would be counter to Trump’s preferred selection of Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE (R-Ga.). The Hill has confirmed the report that Kemp will choose Loeffler, according to a source familiar with Kemp's thinking.

Kemp will announce his decision to have Loeffler fill Isakson’s seat at a press conference next week, according to the news outlet, citing several unidentified senior GOP officials.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kemp’s office declined to comment to the Journal-Constitution and The Hill regarding his potential choice.

Kemp’s reported selection comes after he met with Trump at the White House on Sunday, with the two reportedly have a tense disagreement regarding who should fill the soon-to-be-open seat.

The meeting ended quickly, with Trump arguing that it could be politically risky to appoint Loeffler as she has less political experience than Collins, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Loeffler, if selected, would be the second woman in Georgia history to serve in the Senate. She reportedly accompanied Kemp to his meeting with Trump, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Collins, a four-term congressman, has been a vocal defender of Trump amid the Russia probe and the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Collins has hinted at the possibility of running for a Senate seat if he is not selected by Kemp for the opening. 

Updated 6:24 p.m.