Former Georgia Congressman Doug Collins (R), rumored by some to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp, announced Monday that he’s quitting the political game for now and wont be running for governor or U.S. Senate in 2022.
The former congressman’s announcement will likely come as a welcome relief to Kemp. The Georgia leader faced intense backlash from former President Donald Trump and other conservatives following the 2020 election.
Collins had also been rumored as a Senate challenger to Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. Warnock won a special runoff election in January 2021 against Kelly Loeffler to help give Democrats an advantage in the Senate.
The announcement will lead to a new focus on Georgia Republican candidates to face off against Warnock in 2022. NFL legend and former University of Georgia star Hershel Walker has been among those noted.
In addition, Reps. Buddy Carter and Drew Ferguson has indicated interest in helping win back the Georgia Senate seat for Republicans.
Trump’s influence may make a tremendous advantage in the state. Losing by only a small margin in 2020, his endorsement will be coveted by those seeking to run for Senate in the Peach State.
The same endorsement may still return to haunt the governor in the 2022 election. Though no Republican challenger has yet announced a run, a Trump-backed candidate could give Kemp a formidable battle.
The 2022 election cycle continues to heat up, especially in Georgia. Both the leader of the state and the battle for the state’s next Senator will stand as a strong indicator heading toward the 2024 presidential election.