Who is Doug Collins? 3 things to know about the Georgia congressman, Senate candidate

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Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, who currently represents the state’s Ninth Congressional District, is running as a Republican candidate in a competitive special election for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Collins is competing against around 20 contenders, but the other frontrunners in the race include Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who was appointed to fill the vacant seat in January, and Democrat Raphael Warnock.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff election in January.

Here are three things to know about Collins:

Trump ally

Collins and his main Republican contender, Loeffler, are both campaigning on a close alignment with President Trump.

Collins has dubbed his campaign efforts the “Trump Defender Tour.”

Rep. Doug Collins R-Ga., speaks on a news conference during the House Republican members conference in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Rep. Doug Collins R-Ga., speaks on a news conference during the House Republican members conference in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

He has recently supported the administration’s actions on the coronavirus and related relief measures and supported Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment.

He also served as a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team.

Despite his loyalty to the president, Trump has endorsed neither Collins nor Loeffler.

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Help from Roger Stone

This week, Collins is banking on a boost from longtime GOP operative Roger Stone, who will campaign with the three-term congressman.   

In a Twitter message, Stone said the Georgia race could be second in importance only to the presidential election while noting that Collins would stand up to the “deep state and the swamp.”

Stone, who had his sentence commuted by the president in July, was convicted and sentenced to a prison term in November of 2019 for obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress – all related to the Russia investigation.

Military background

Collins, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, served in the Navy for two years before joining the Air Force Reserves as a chaplain in 2002.

He was deployed to Iraq as a chaplain in 2008.

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