Georgia governor defies Trump in appointing businesswoman to US Senate

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Atlanta businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to take over the seat of retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson.

ATLANTA -- Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced Wednesday his appointment of businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Johnny Isakson, effective Dec. 31.

"From the farm to the New York Stock Exchange, Kelly Loeffler has lived the American Dream," Kemp said in a news release. "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 (David) 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 lifelong Republican who shares our conservative values and vision for a safer, stronger Georgia.

"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. It is time to send them reinforcements so we can keep America great."

Loeffler stuck to the governor's talking points in her comments.

"Over the last 25 years, I've been building businesses, taking risks, and creating jobs," she said. "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 lifelong 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."

Several leaders weighed in on Kemp's decision to name Loeffler to the Senate seat:

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.”

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."

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr: “I commend and support Gov. Kemp’s appointment of Kelly Loeffler to replace Sen. 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 first-hand Gov. 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 Gov. 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."

Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan: "Congratulations to Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to the U.S. Senate. Brooke and I would like to thank Sen. 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 House Speaker David Ralston: “Gov. 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.”

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