Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia on Wednesday appointed Kelly Loeffler, a politically untested business executive, to fill a soon-to-be-vacated US Senate seat in the state. The move put the governor at odds with President Trump, who had lobbied for a different candidate.
The choice set off alarm bells among the president’s allies and was seen by political observers as an attempt by Kemp to shore up support from suburban Republican women.
The Senate seat is being vacated at the end of the year by Johnny Isakson, a Republican who is experiencing health problems.
Loeffler is the chief executive of Bakkt, a financial services company, and an owner of the Atlanta Dream, a WNBA franchise.
In remarks Wednesday, she said she is a “a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump. I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges.”
Republican disagreements over the choice surfaced last month when The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump had met with Kemp and Loeffler in a “tense” meeting
Trump, the newspaper said, preferred Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a reliable ally.
new york times