Roger Stone rallies for Doug Collins in Gwinnett

Patricia Murphy | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It could only be a year like 2020 when Roger Stone, President Donald Trump’s longtime political confidant who was sentenced to prison this year for lying to Congress, can be found stumping in historic Buford for U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and one of Trump’s most vocal defenders in the House impeachment trial.

After raising both arms in a “V-for-victory” nod to Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” pose, Stone told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview about Collins: ”He’s a truth teller. He’s a Trump Republican. He’s a solid conservative. I’m sure that Kelly Loeffler is a nice lady. But she should run for the Senate in New York if she wants to be a U.S. senator because that’s where she lives."

Loeffler actually lives in Atlanta, but Stone’s point was that Collins is the candidate of the grassroots in the state. He also said that Collins, whom Stone knew mostly from television and mutual friends, was one of the few people who stood by him after he was convicted, even though Stone always maintained his innocence.

“Doug Collins was one of a handful of Republicans who stood up for me and pointed out that I had not received a fair trial,” which Stone called “a Soviet-style show trial.”

Trump commuted Stone’s prison sentence in July, calling him “a victim of the Russia hoax," which is the main reason Stone was free to campaign for Collins, the only Senate candidate he’s stumping for. During the half-hour rally, he told Collins' supporters that he believe God had saved his life for a purpose and that included telling them “the truth” about the Collins Senate race.

“This is a classic case of a grassroots conservative, a man of uncommon courage, a man who has stood with our president, as he has tried desperately to drain the swamp, and an elitist power player from New York state who does not share our values.”

As Collins and Loeffler have battled each other for conservative support in the special Senate election, Collins has leaned heavily on his role as the lead Republican defending the president during last year’s House impeachment trial.

He has dubbed his campaign trek across the state “the Trump Defender Tour,” and he speaks frequently on the stump about his role leading Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.

Stone added that Gov. Brian Kemp made a mistake in appointing Loeffler to the Senate in December.

“This is someone who I would have expected Gov. Stacey Abrams to put in the Senate," Stone said. "But we are going to give the governor a pass and the people of Georgia are going to put it right.”

David Perdue returned to the same airplane hangar at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport where he rallied with supporters shortly before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014.

This time, the race is much different and Perdue is in a close battle against Democrat Jon Ossoff. During his speech Monday, he painted a grim picture of what he believes the nation will look like if Democrats win after Tuesday. But he avoided mentioning Ossoff by name.

Perdue told the crowd of supporters that Democrats had failed Americans while the Republican Party, led by President Donald Trump, had reduced unemployment, lowered taxes and decreased the number of people living in poverty.

“Now the Democrats want to take it back," Perdue said. “We aren’t going back, are we?”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, described Perdue as a proven leader with business acumen and a focus on improving the economy and creating jobs.

“You are voting for a guy who decided to leave business to dedicate his life as an outsider in the swamp to help President Trump return America to its best and right way,” said Scott, who represents South Carolina.