The election may have been in Missouri, but the two Republican campaigns for Georgia’s new 9th District, now in a runoff, had their eyes on Tuesday’s victory by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin in the GOP race to face down Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Doug Collins, who faces a Sarah Palin-endorsed Martha Zoller on Aug. 21 for the north Georgia seat, may have reason to hope.
From the Associated Press:
Akin, who described himself as the most conservative congressman in Missouri, defeated former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner in a race in which all three tried to appeal to conservative voters or tea party activists. He carried 36 percent of the vote, compared with 30 percent for Brunner and 29 percent for Steelman.
Steelman had enjoyed heavy support from Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee. Brunner had poured more than $7.5 million of his personal wealth into his first campaign, stressing his business experience and outsider status.
But Brunner and Steelman attacked each other’s conservative credentials in TV ads, while Akin refused to go negative. Instead, Akin’s ads featured the praise of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 presidential candidate.
For Palin, Steelman’s defeat breaks a successful endorsement streak of four U.S. Senate races, not to mention the attempted Wisconsin recall of Gov. Scott Walker. An additional word from the Washington Post:
Not that Palin didn’t give the Missouri race her best effort. She cut several radio ads for Steelman, made a personal visit to the state and effusively praised Steelman for her mavericky refusal to go-along to get-along, a message designed to appeal to the tea party supporters Steelman needed….
And the election year is not yet over. Martha Zoller, Palin’s pick for the GOP nominee in Georgia’s 9th congressional district will face a run-off election Aug. 21. Palin has also backed Rep. Jeff Flake in a tough Aug. 28 race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arizona.
And, notably, she’s supporting freshman Rep. Sandy Adams in her effort to take down veteran Florida Rep. John Mica, in a rare member-on-member Aug. 14 race required by redistricting.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider