U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter says he's weighing 2026 run against Jon Ossoff

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., asks questions to Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech, during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, May 14, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP).

Coastal Georgia U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter told an Atlanta television station on Tuesday that he’s considering a run in 2026 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Asked by WXIX-TV’s Zach Merchant if he was “contemplating” a run against Ossoff, Carter replied, “I won’t dispute that.”

The four-term congressman from St. Simons said he was concentrating first on his reelection campaign in November against Democrat Patti Hewitt of Richmond Hill. After that, he said, it would be a matter of having the “courage” and “fortitude” to follow “God’s plan” for him.

He continued: “There’s no question in my mind that the state of Georgia should not be represented by two Democratic senators. We need a Republican senator.”

How much support Carter has for a Senate run is unclear, which his comments on Tuesday could be an attempt at gauging. 

Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, among others, have frequently been mentioned as other Republican candidates for the seat.

Carter’s Senate ambitions aren’t new.

Three years ago, Carter told WSAV-TV that he was considering a run for the Senate seat held by Raphael Warnock, who then was gearing up for what would ultimately be a successful run for a full, six-year term as one of Georgia’s two U.S. senators.

Carter started to assemble a campaign team, only to step aside in favor of Herschel Walker, whom former President Donald Trump favored for the job. Warnock defeated Walker in a runoff by more than 99,000 votes — or 2.8% of the vote.

This story was provided by WABE content partner The Current.