Georgia’s Secretary of State is giving potential candidates less than two weeks to qualify for the special election in the battle for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kelly Loeffler.
Because it’s a special election, there’s no primary for the race under current law, meaning candidates who qualify between March 2 and 6 will all appear on the November ballot.
Sen. Loeffler, who was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp after Sen. Johnny Isakson retired, already has one Republican challenger, Rep. Doug Collins.
Collins’ campaign spokesman Dan McLagan called the setting of the qualifying period “good news,” and referred to Collins as the frontrunner.
Meanwhile, Caitlin O’Dea with Loeffler’s campaign argued that the momentum is on Loeffler’s side.
“Conservatives across the state and country are lining up to support Kelly [Loeffler] because they know that as a political outsider and conservative businesswoman, she has what it takes to get the job done,” O’Dea said.
Democrats are jumping into the race too, including Pastor Raphael Warnock, of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and entrepreneur Matt Lieberman, the son of former vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. Former U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver told the Associated Press last week that he expects to make an announcement soon to join the race.
Monday’s news also holds significance for Georgia’s other 2020 U.S. Senate race. Sen. David Perdue is up for re-election in a race that will feature a May primary. The March 6 cutoff for the Loeffler seat means candidates who fall short of the nomination for the Perdue seat will have missed the deadline to enter the November special election.