Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week that businesswoman Kelly Loeffler will succeed GOP U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson when he resigns from the chamber on December 31. Loeffler will be sworn in after January 1.

The process of selecting Isakson’s successor became controversial when President Trump let it be known that he wanted Kemp to appoint four-term U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who represents the 9th congressional district in northeast Georgia. The district has a Partisan Voting Index of R+31, meaning that it votes 31 points more Republican than the nation as a whole. More central to Trump’s thinking is that Collins is a staunch ally who has taken a leading role in defending the President during the impeachment process.

Collins was not Kemp’s first choice. The populous Atlanta suburbs were once friendly to Republicans, but changing demographics and Trump’s unpopularity among college educated white voters have made these areas much more competitive. Kemp, who ran in 2018 as a conservative emphasizing his support for the 2nd amendment and opposition to abortion and illegal immigration, barely eked out a victory,

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