Doug Collins Rules Out Campaign for Senate, 'Any Other Office' Then-Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center Feb. 27, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 26 April 2021 11:00 AM
Former Rep. Doug Collins, who placed third in the 2020 race for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, announced Monday he won't run in 2022 for the seat now held by Sen. Raphael Warnock, or for any other public office.
"I’m announcing today that I will not be a candidate for any office in the next election cycle," Collins posted on Twitter. "For those who may wonder, this is goodbye for now, but probably not forever."
He added in his statement that "It has been a joy" to serve both in Georgia's legislature and in Congress," adding that as a representative, he was "able to accomplish a great deal for the folks that I served including historic criminal justice reform with the passage of the First Step Act."
He also commented that as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, "I fought each and every day to uphold our Constitutional rights and the freedoms we cherish. I have always believed that when you are given the privilege of serving, you should strive to pass meaningful legislation that impacts people's everyday lives. I'm proud we were able to do just that."
Collins said that while he's not running for office, he does plan to stay involved to "shape our conservative message, to help Republicans win the House and the Senate and help strong conservative candidates get elected here in Georgia. I believe that we, as conservatives, must be able to clearly communicate our values and I will help keep that fight going."
Collins, of Gainesville, until Monday's announcement, had been considering a new campaign for Senate and would have so far been the largest name among Republican candidates lining up to defeat Warnock.
However, the former congressman, who had served in the house from 2013 to 2021 and became a nationally recognized party leader, has also been signaling that he'll remain in the public sector after his launch of a new conservative talk show and joining a law firm in north Georgia, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Collins, in the 2020 race, ran against then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate in 2019 by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the seat of Johnny Isakson, who retired because of health issues. Loeffler lost to Warnock in a recall election in January in a race that helped to flip control of the Senate to Democrats.
Former President Donald Trump had been pushing Collins to challenge Kemp in a primary race for governor of Georgia. Trump and his allies have been angry at Georgia's Republican governor after he refused to overturn the state's election laws and give their former president the win over Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, Trump has been encouraging Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL star Herschel Walker to run for Senate, calling him "unstoppable."
Walker has not yet announced his intentions, although he told Fox News earlier this month that he's "considering" a campaign, reports New York Magazine.
CNN has reported that Walker has been visiting with former Trump staffers and with key GOP senators like Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to discuss his chances.
However, several other Republicans, including Loeffler, are exploring the race, but have not made announcements at this point, most likely because the Trump-backed Walker has not yet made a decision.
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., is also considering a campaign, but talk of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a freshman congresswoman who has been making the news in recent weeks for her outspoken comments, has subsided at this point, the publication reports.