Jack Kingston, the Savannah-based Republican congressman running for the U.S. Senate, has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Here's more from the Washington Post:
"Now more than ever we need conservative leaders with a demonstrated record of fighting for Georgia jobs, and that leader is Jack Kingston. As senator, Jack will help lead America’s comeback and lay the groundwork for more jobs, more growth, and a generation of prosperity," said Rob Engstrom, the business group's political director.
The chamber's endorsement is important because the group has been known to spend significant money on behalf of candidates it supports.
Kingston is in a five-way primary for the Republican nomination, facing businessman David Perdue, former secretary of state Karen Handel, and two of his House colleagues: Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey. Kingston has earned the endorsement of Sean Hannity, and is considered a favorite among Republican strategists in Washington. The well-funded Kingston campaign released a 30-second TV ad this week, focused on his plan to get more welfare and food-stamp recipients back to work. Watch it below:
A poll released Thursday found Kingston in second place in the GOP primary, with 15 percent support, behind David Perdue at 19 percent. Perdue was the first primary candidate to run TV ads, though his campaign hit a snag recently after video footage was released showing the businessman (and cousin of former governor Sonny Perdue) criticizing one of his opponents for only having a high school diploma. That candidate was Karen Handel, who polled not far behind Kingston with 13 percent support. Handel has been buoyed in her underfunded campaign by endorsements from Sarah Palin and Arizona governor Jan Brewer, as well as the fallout from the Perdue video.
The Republicans are running to succeed retiring GOP senator Saxby Chambliss. The primary will be on May 20, and in this crowded field, no candidate is likely to get the requisite 50 percent support. The top two vote-getters will advance to a July 22 runoff, the winner of which will face presumptive Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn.