Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp reportedly plans to pick a businesswoman for the U.S. Senate seat scheduled to be vacated at the end of the year.
It is a move that has reportedly caused contention between the first-term Republican governor and his political colleagues, including President Donald Trump. Kemp’s office has not confirmed the claims.
Kemp wants to select Kelly Loeffler, CEO of financial asset company and part-owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream for Georgia's 6th Congressional district, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. However, other GOP lawmakers have pressured the governor to select U.S. Congressman Doug Collins, R-Georgia for the post.
Kemp and Trump’s disagreement over who is the best candidate for the position came full circle Sunday at the White House with Loeffler present, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, Kemp took to Twitter with a cryptic message about the meeting.
“The attacks and games are absolutely absurd," Kemp wrote. "Frankly, I could care less what the political establishment thinks."
Kemp did not confirm his selection, but stressed that his pick will have views that align with his.
“I stand with hardworking Georgians and @POTUS,” Kemp wrote. “The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100 percent supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous.”
Loeffler called herself a “political outsider” in her cover letter to Kemp. However, she has been a close ally of Georgia’s Republican Party. She co-chaired a fundraising fund in 2010 for former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, according to her résumé. She was also considered as a candidate in 2013 but declined the opportunity.
Loeffler said she stands with the governor and the president in their stances on job growth, immigration and health care but said the country needs someone who is not a career politician.
“Politicians with radical agendas threaten to undermine and destroy all that has made this country the shining beacon of liberty and opportunity in the world,” she wrote.
Collins, on his website, promotes protecting the lives of unborn babies and constitutional liberties, and he has been vocal about his support for the president during the impeachment inquiries.
Collins has served in the state’s ninth Congressional district since 2013; before that, he held a seat in the Statehouse for six years.
The U.S. Senate seat is currently held by Sen. Johnny Isakson, who plans to retire Dec. 31 because of health concerns.
Kemp’s pick will occupy the seat until a special election in November 2020. Kemp made an open call for applications in September. Hundreds of applicants submitted their résumés, including Georgia’s House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones, state Sen. Michael “Doc” Rhett, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans, Georgia Department of Human Services Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden and former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston.