The former U.S. Representative Doug Collins announced Monday he will not seek political office in 2022, effectively ending any speculation that he would challenge U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock in next November’s midterm elections or mount a primary challenge to current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Collins was one of the former U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s staunchest defenders during the first impeachment trial and green-lighted any legislation during his time in the House of Representatives.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“I believe that we, as conservatives, must be able to clearly communicate our values and I will help keep that fight going.”
Victories by Warnock and fellow Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff gave Democrats control of the Senate in one of the most contentious election battles in recent memory, and the 2022 contest will again help determine the chamber’s balance for the final two years of Biden’s term.
The populists and President Trump love Collins because he is an attorney, a pastor, and more than most, spoke the language of the blue-collar Georgian.
Collins ran for U.S. Senate in 2020 but came in third in the jungle primary race between former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler and the eventual winner, the Reverend Warnock. Collins was tapped by former President Trump to lead the recount team in Georgia after Biden won the state by less than 12,000 votes.
Collins currently hosts a radio show and joined a law firm.
With both Collins and former U.S. Senator David Perdue deciding not to run for Senate in 2022, Republicans may be forced to run Herschel Walker or one of any number of lower-tier Republicans for a seat that they are desperate to win back.
So far, Kemp’s top announced primary opponent is a former Democratic state representative, Vernon Jones, who endorsed Trump last year.
Warnock’s campaign, meanwhile, said recently that the senator raised $5.7 million between the Jan. 5 runoff and March 31.