Julianne Thompson, co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party, endorsed U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga) in the runoff primary race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia, according to statement released on Tuesday. Thompson previously supported former Secretary of State Karen Handel, but Handel didn’t qualify for the runoff, coming close third behind Kingston.
“As a conservative activist who has worked hard promoting the causes of limited government, free market capitalism, lower taxes, and a balanced budget it is important to me to back a candidate whom I know shares the same values,” said Thompson. “We do not need someone to be another member of the Senate Country Club. We need courage…someone who is strong enough to fight for our principles in an atmosphere that is sometimes very difficult. We also need someone who is accessible and respects the fact that the people that elected him will hold him accountable. That is why I am supporting Jack Kingston for United States Senate. Jack doesn’t just talk the talk, he has walked the walk and is the only candidate who has been in the trenches fighting alongside fellow conservatives.”
The “Senate Country Club” comment is a clear jab at businessman David Perdue’s wealth. Perdue is Kingston’s challenger in the runoff after coming in first in the primary. Perdue, who's never held political office, has appealed to Georgians with his humble roots in rural Georgia and great success in the business world. Perdue was a CEO of companies like Dollar General and Reebok. However, his opposition, both Republican and Democratic, has tried to turn his success against him, calling him “elitist” and “out of touch.”
In her statement, Thompson went on to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, who was smart enough to point out that people don’t have to agree on everything 100 percent. Thompson said that after talking with Kingston, who has been in politics since the 80s, she now believes he is the candidate capable of beating Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election in November and the candidate that will stick to conservative principles.
“The bottom line is our nation is in dire straights and there is no time for on the job training,” said Thompson. “Jack Kingston is a strong fiscal conservative with a 96% rating from American Conservative Union. He is a pro-life, pro-second amendment, Constitutional conservative that I trust. He has and will serve Georgia with dignity and diplomacy, and stands ready to fight strong and hard when necessary. He is ready to lead from day one.”
According to recent poll by Rasmussen Reports, Nunn would beat both Perdue and Kingston if the elections were held today, but her lead over Perdue is within the survey’s margin of error. She beats Kingston by six points. However, before the Republican primary is resolved, any polling is not very reliable. Nunn won her primary without problem and with minimal financial investment.
Kingston currently represents Georgia’s first congressional district. Click here to read Thompson’s entire statement.