Republicans gathered in Columbus Saturday for the grand opening of the Muscogee County headquarters.
It was a festive atmosphere with plenty of partisan rhetoric.
“It’s time for four more years. Four more years,” The crowd of about 250 chanted as U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville led the pep rally from the podium.
“It’s easy to fight for a president who tells the truth,” Collins said.
Collins was the man Saturday as Republicans assembled to kickoff the 2020 campaign ahead of the presidential primary later this month, the May primaries and the November General Election.
“He’s on everybody’s mind in Georgia and to us it’s a big, big deal for us,” said Muscogee County Republican Chairman Alton Russell. “And we appreciate him coming.”
Collins has been one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, leading the fight against impeachment as one of the House managers.
And he is on the ballot in November trying to unseat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed in December by Gov. Brian Kemp.
Collins and Loeffler is shaping up as a bitter partisan fight on the Nov. 3 ballot. Because it’s a special election to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Johnny Isakson, the race will include Democrats and Republicans.
Russell tells News 3 that the Columbus Republicans were not playing favorites when they invited Collins to speak at the grand opening.
“What we did was we invited Kelly to come and she just couldn’t make it,” he said. “And Doug Collins made the commitment to be here. So he’s our big headliner.”
And he did not disappoint. He did what he does best, be a pitchman for the president.
“Coming to Columbus and seeing the support for the president down here is great,” Collins said. “It’s been my privilege to fight for him and do what we have been doing challenging impeachment for the last couple of years and getting stuff done. It’s more than just fighting.”
But he also found support for his race.
“Columbus is a great place,” Collins said. “We have seen great support. I am humbled by the support we have received. And people have been calling. We are glad to get down here for the first time. And it definitely won’t be the last time.”
The headquarters is in the old bank building at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Manchester Expressway.
WRBL News 3 had an exclusive one-on-one interview with Collins prior to the rally. Collins talked about the Senate race and the attack ads being run against him. That will be coming Monday on News 3 and WRBL.com.