Doug Collins Returns to Lowndes

Desiree Carver | Valdosta Daily News

VALDOSTA – Doug Collins, a conservative Republican going up against current Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and numerous other candidates, visited Valdosta Saturday.

The former pastor and military veteran is no stranger to Valdosta as he spent time stationed at Moody Air Force Base and had a large group of supporters show up to hear him speak, including state Sen. Ellis Black and Georgia Public Service Commissioner Jason Shaw.

As a conservative and Trump defender, the North Georgia congressman's stance on the issues closely align with the president, such as being “unapologetically pro-life” and has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. Collins gained national attention defending the president during the impeachment hearings.

Collins was introduced by state Rep. James Burchett of Waycross who added his own feelings toward the importance of this election.

“This is an election that is for the actual soul of America and the direction we are going to move in the next 10 to 20 years,” Burchett said. “This election is really going to have some consequential effects on our union here.”

As the Senate hopeful stood before the crowd, he said his Georgia-grown roots set him apart from the competition and puts him in tune with his voters.

“There's one person who spent $50 million in this race but you know it is Halloween today,” Collins laughed as his guest Trisha Pridemore pulled out a 100 Grand candy bar. “We may not be the $50 million candidate but we are the 100 Grand candy bar candidate. It ain't politics in South Georgia unless you got a 100 Grand bar and Moon Pies and if we get the RCs out, life is done at that point.”

Jokes aside, Collins commended the state on its voter turnout, citing how just less than 4 million people had early voted in Georgia, which is comparable to the total number of people who voted in 2016 in the state.

He discussed growing up in Gainesville, with a father who was a Georgia state trooper and mother who provided care to local senior citizens.

“That's where I learned values. I learned what it meant to keep your word; I learned what a handshake meant,” Collins said. “Later on, when I got into politics, I didn't have to do a poll. I didn't have to stick my finger to the wind and say what do people want to hear. I came out and spoke from my heart and I'll speak from my heart to this day. Can you imagine a trooper's kid from Gainesville, Ga., being in Valdosta, Ga., saying I want to be your next United States senator? That's what this country's made of.”

Collins believes there is an “authenticity gap” in this race as he continues his campaigning against any negative ads being placed out against him. He wants to see the state of Georgia restored to what he once knew and see the agriculture community come back together.

His prediction for the election is Trump will win reelection, David Perdue will hold his Senate seat and Collins will go head-to-head with Democrat Raphael Warnock.