Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt – a digital asset exchange and a subsidiary of ICE, has been selected by the Governor of Georgia to fill an open seat in the US Senate.
Thank you @GovKemp for this important opportunity to serve our state and our nation. I am humbled by this honor and am grateful for the confidence you have placed in me. #gapol pic.twitter.com/qzmUNodd5D
— Kelly Loeffler (@kloeffler) December 4, 2019
Originally, a report in AJC.com tipped Loeffler as the Governor of Georgia’s choice over President Trump’s favorite US House of Representative Doug Collins, a four-term congressman, who has vocally supported the President.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp believes that Loeffler will help expand the Republican Party’s appeal to women – a segment that has been alienated by the GOP to a degree in the past couple of years.
Current Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson is exiting the seat due to health reasons.
Loeffler, who is also co-owner of WNBA team the Atlanta Dream, previously considered running for the US Senate in 2014 but decided to pass at that time.
Some Conservative groups have indicated tepid support for Loeffler which may queue up a political battle in 2020 when a special election will be held for the Georgia Senate seat. An internecine battle within the Georgia Republican party may, in the end, help the Democrats in the state.
Recently, Loeffler and her husband donated $100,000 for a Trump Roundtable.
Trump may come around to Loeffler as he will need to encourage suburban female voters to support him in the looming Presidential election battle – an election that may be tight depending on who receives the Democrat nomination. A successful female executive campaigning by his side could help boost Trump’s appeal in parts of the country that have been turned off by some of the President’s more divisive statements and Tweets.
Update: According to Politico, Loeffler is prepared to spend up to $20 million of her own money to defend the Senate seat in 2020. The Georgia Governor officially made the selection of Loeffler today. By committing to spend her own money, Loeffler may be able to counter possible challengers to the Senate seat. Loeffler immediately launched a Loeffler for Senate website thus kicking off her campaign.
As part of her bio, Loeffler burnished her conservative credentials:
“Loeffler is leaving her career in the private sector to advance pro-growth, pro-jobs policies that keep America’s economy strong and prosperous. She will shake up the status quo, stand up for hardworking Georgians, and protect the American Dream from left-wing socialists like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Kelly Loeffler is tested and ready for battle. She will boldly stand with President Trump and Senator David Perdue to champion conservative policies that Keep America Great.”
Governor Kemp has issued a statement on his selection, alongside a long list of endorsements from prominent political leaders.
“From the farm to the New York Stock Exchange, Kelly Loeffler has lived the American Dream. I’m confident that she will work every single day to keep that same dream alive for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. Kelly Loeffler will stand with the President, Senator Perdue, and their allies in the U.S. House and Senate. I’m excited to appoint Georgia’s first female Senator in nearly 100 years – but, more importantly, I’m excited to appoint a life-long Republican who shares our conservative values and vision for a safer, stronger Georgia.
“Kelly is a patriot who believes in the greatness of America. She is willing to serve for freedom’s sake. She is a real conservative who will defend life against the radical left’s abortion-on-demand agenda, protect the Second Amendment, champion pro-growth policies, support our President, and put hardworking Georgians first.
“Senator Loeffler will fight to strengthen our immigration laws and finish the Border Wall so we can stop Mexican drug cartels from flooding our streets – here in Georgia – with drugs, weapons, violence, and fear. She will work to end this impeachment circus in Washington, D.C. and get Congress back to work for the American people.
“We have seen firsthand the impact that political outsiders like Donald Trump and David Perdue have in Washington, D.C. It is time to send them reinforcements so we can Keep America Great.”
Newly appointed Senator Loeffler, said the following:
“Over the last twenty-five years, I’ve been building businesses, taking risks, and creating jobs. I haven’t spent my life trying to get to Washington, but there are a few things folks are going to find out about me: I’m pro-Second Amendment, pro-military, pro-Wall, and pro-Trump. I’m a life-long conservative, and I make no apologies for my conservative values. I’m strongly pro-life and believe that every life is a blessing. When it comes to protecting the innocent, I don’t look to government for the answers. I look to God.
“With all of the important work to be done in D.C. and here in Georgia, I’m disgusted by the impeachment circus and strongly oppose it. It’s a sideshow and partisan distraction. Democrats need to quit playing politics. We’re facing the fight of our generation – and that’s why I’m here. As an outsider, I know that I’ll have to prove it. I’ll work hard every day to earn Georgians’ confidence and support with my votes, priorities, and actions.”
Below are the messages of support put together by the Governor.
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson
“I congratulate Kelly Loeffler on her historic appointment to the United States Senate. Kelly’s business experience and acumen will be an asset to Georgia and the Senate. The same tireless work ethic that has helped her succeed in business will also help her succeed in serving Georgians and our nation. It has been the honor of a lifetime for me to serve this great state in the U.S. Senate, and my staff and I will work closely with Kelly to ensure a smooth transition.”
U.S. Senator David Perdue
“My number one goal is to continue the best economic turnaround in U.S. history and focus on the needs of the people of Georgia. The only way to ensure that happens is to advance President Trump’s agenda in the U.S. Senate. While Senator Isakson leaves behind big shoes to fill, I look forward to working with Kelly Loeffler, my new partner in the U.S. Senate, to continue that positive change for Georgia and our country.”
Congressman Rick Allen
“Kelly Loeffler is cut from the same cloth as me, Senator Perdue, and President Trump: A successful businesswoman who is committed to making tough choices and keeping America great. I am thankful for her willingness to serve, and I look forward to working together to continue to deliver wins for Georgians. While Senator Isakson is an irreplaceable leader, Governor Kemp had a great pool of candidates to pick from – making it an incredibly difficult decision. Now it’s time for Georgia Republicans to come together so we can keep our state the number one place to do business and grow jobs.”
Congressman Buddy Carter
“I applaud Governor Kemp for appointing a proven business leader to the U.S. Senate. As a business owner for several decades, I learned how to balance a budget and create jobs. I also saw firsthand how big government hurts hardworking Americans instead of helping them. Kelly Loeffler will bring these critical skills to the U.S. Capitol as well. From working to fund the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project to securing aid for our farmers, and everything in between, I look forward to working with our new Senator for Georgians.”
Congressman Tom Graves
“I welcome Ms. Loeffler to the Georgia delegation and look forward to getting to know her better. She’s known as a proven business leader who I trust understands the challenges that await her. I’m grateful to Senator Isakson for his more than four decades of work on behalf of Georgia families, businesses, and our nation’s veterans. He will be missed but his impact will be felt for years to come.”
Congressman Jody Hice
“I have known Brian Kemp for over a decade. As a friend and as Governor, he has proven to be an effective leader for both the state of Georgia and the conservative movement. He is a proven champion in the fight to protect life. Simultaneously, he has further developed Georgia’s robust and thriving business environment. I congratulate him and Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with her to promote the conservative principles and values of Georgia and our great President.”
Congressman Barry Loudermilk
“I look forward to working with Kelly Loeffler as the new U.S. Senator in Georgia’s Republican Congressional Delegation. Our delegation is known for unity and collaboration between its members in both chambers, and we will continue to work hard on the issues Georgians care about. While I do not know Kelly well, I do know Governor Brian Kemp and the strong conservative values he holds, and I trust his judgment in making this important decision.”
Congressman Austin Scott
“I’d like to congratulate Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with her as a member of the Georgia Delegation to support our military installations, Georgia farmers and rural communities, and especially President Trump.”
Congressman Rob Woodall
“I’m thrilled with Governor Kemp’s choice to replace Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate. Kelly Loeffler’s decades of leadership and experience make her an excellent candidate to fill the Senate seat. From working on her family’s farm, her philanthropic work, to creating jobs and opportunity in the private sector, Kelly embodies the best of our public servants and citizen leaders, and Georgia’s small business owners and local entrepreneurs will benefit from her firsthand knowledge of the free market. I look forward to working with Senator Loeffler to expand the American Dream for the millions of hardworking families in Georgia.”
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr
“I commend and support Governor Kemp’s appointment of Kelly Loeffler to replace Senator Johnny Isakson. Her experience as a businesswoman, conservative principles, and common sense approach will serve Georgia and our nation well in the U.S. Senate.”
Georgia Insurance Commissioner and Safety Fire Commissioner John King
“I know firsthand Governor Kemp’s commitment to doing the right thing for all Georgians in every decision, and I know he has had that in mind in making this important announcement. I’m proud to stand with him and our next U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler. Like me, Kelly Loeffler is an outsider to politics with a passion to serve our state, defend our values, and fight on behalf of Georgians. Together, we will work side by side to keep Georgia safe and strong. I look forward to campaigning for her in 2020 and beside her in 2022.”
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler
“I fully support Governor Kemp’s decision to appoint Kelly Loeffler as our next U.S. Senator. It’s rare that someone of her diverse background and real-world experience offers themselves for public service. She’ll bring much-needed common sense to D.C.”
State School Superintendent Richard Woods
“Though I do not know Ms. Kelly Loeffler, I do have the pleasure of knowing Governor Brian Kemp. I have found our Governor to be an individual of integrity and truth. He has shown himself to be very thoughtful and purposeful in his decision making and a conservative of conviction. He signed the Fetal Heartbeat bill. He has given me unwavering support to lead the Georgia Department of Education. Governor Kemp has stated that he would not nominate an individual to the U.S. Senate who was not pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and a true conservative. He has earned my respect and trust. Thus, I support his selection of Kelly Loeffler as the next U.S. Senator for the great state of Georgia.”
Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan
“Congratulations to Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to the U.S. Senate. Brooke and I would like to thank Senator Isakson for his many years of service and commitment to our state. Through hard work and determination, he built the Republican Party of Georgia from the ground up alongside so many of our conservative forefathers. We wish him and his family all the best.”
State Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller
“Kelly Loeffler is a strong businesswoman with solid conservative values who will make Georgia proud as our next U.S. Senator. She is the right person for this historic appointment, and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”
State House Speaker David Ralston
“Governor Kemp has chosen the person he believes most qualified to represent our values in Washington. I congratulate Ms. Loeffler, and I look forward to getting to know her as we all work together to Keep America Great.”
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones
“I am excited that Governor Kemp has appointed Kelly Loeffler to fill Senator Isakson’s seat. Her extensive business experience and conservative principles will serve Georgia well in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with her in the future to advance conservative policies.”