Some big news happened in Georgia yesterday:
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., has formally announced he's running against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a fellow Republican, setting up a Republican battle over the seat left vacant by former Sen. Johnny Isakson.
“We just need to have a process that lets people decide. Lets them choose for themselves how they want to see this vision,” Collins, a staunch defender of President Trump, said Wednesday on Fox News. “I look forward to a good exchange of ideas and am looking forward to this election.”
Collins was asked if his decision would create space for a Democrat to win the seat. He responded: “No we're not concerned about that at all. I'm concerned about going to the people of Georgia. I've always run with three reasons in mind, that's Jordan, Copelan and Cameron; those are my three kids.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which backs Loeffler, released a scathing statement saying, “The shortsightedness in this decision is stunning. Doug Collins' selfishness will hurt [U.S. Sens.] David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and President Trump.”
“All he has done is put two Senate seats, multiple House seats, and Georgia's 16 electoral votes in play.”
But some even bigger news out of Georgia just happened today:
The Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic church, entered the race for the U.S. Senate on Thursday with hopes of unifying Georgia Democrats in one of the nation’s premier 2020 contests.
Warnock launched his campaign against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler with a video that detailed his path from public housing in Savannah to the pulpit of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and a pledge to turn his progressive preaching into policy.
“I’ve always thought that my impact doesn’t stop at the church door. That’s actually where it starts,” he said. “I love this country, and I believe that what makes America so great is that we’ve always had a path to make it greater.”
He’s expected to be endorsed by Stacey Abrams and other prominent state and national Democrats in the race against Loeffler, a Republican financial executive who also faces a challenge from conservative U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.
And U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D. OH) is wasting no time building momentum for Warnock’s campaign. I received this e-mail from Brown in support of Warnock’s campaign:
Raphael Warnock just announced his bid for the Senate in Georgia!
Raphael is a senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta — the former pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — and a community leader who would be the first African American senator to represent Georgia.
Raphael is also a strong advocate for civil rights, affordable health care, and the Dignity of Work who is running for the Senate to fight voter suppression, expand access to health care, and ensure living wages for hardworking Americans.
But this race could determine control of the Senate. It’s going to be highly competitive, and one of Raphael’s Republican opponents has pledged to spend $20 million of her own money.
Raphael is counting on strong grassroots support to win what’s going to be an extremely tough, close race.