Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler told Oconee County Republicans that three things distinguish her from the Democrats and Republicans who will be seeking her seat in the non-primaried special election on Nov. 3.
Loeffler said she is a business outsider, a life-long conservative, and someone who already has Senate experience.
She also said she is proud of her support of President Donald Trump.
“We relate to one another because we have that outside perspective,” she said.
She said voters, who will be picking from a field of Democrats and Republicans, will be judging the “difference between putting America first and socialism.”
Loeffler was the featured speaker at the May virtual meeting of the Oconee County Republicans.
The group will meet Monday night in a regular session at the Chamber of Commerce in Watkinsville, where it is scheduled to get a legislative update from state Sen. Bill Cowsert. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.
Cowsert last week authored a revision of a House-passed Hate Crimes Bill that adds firefighters, peace officers and emergency medical technicians to the list of those listed as victims and covered in the Hate Crimes Bill.
Hate Crimes Bill
Cowsert, who represents Oconee and parts of Clarke and Walton counties in the state Senate, said before the General Assembly reconvened last week that he expected the Senate is to pass a Hate Crimes Bill, but it would not be the bill passed by the Georgia House of Representatives last year.
Cowsert said he supported passage of a bill, but he said expected the bill that the Senate would produce “will be much more comprehensive” than the House Bill then before the Senate for consideration.
The House passed its version of a Hate Crimes Bill, House Bill 426, in March of 2019, and that bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee for action. Cowsert is a member of the Committee.
House Bill 426 set sentencing guidelines for defendants who “intentionally selected any victim or group of victims or any property as the object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability of such victim or group of victims.”
Rather than author a broader bill, Cowsert added the “status of being or having been a first responder” to the list of “victims.” First responders are defined as firefighters, peace officers and emergency medical technicians.
The Judiciary Committee reported out favorably the revised bill on Friday.
Cowsert will be the featured speaker at the meeting on Monday, but Amrey Harden, who has said he intends to seek the vacant position on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners in a special election in November, also will be invited to speak.
Wayne Johnson, a Republican who is challenging Loeffler in the November election, also will have a chance to speak.
Loeffler On Appointment
At the meeting on May 28, Loeffler, said she applied for and accepted the appointment by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to fill out the term of Johnny Isakson when he retired in December “out of service to country.”
|Sen. Kelly Loeffler|
“I felt blessed by my achievements and I wanted to make sure that others had that same opportunity,” she said.
Loeffler said people told her, as the newest Senator, to “just kind of watch and learn.”
“I decided that wasn’t the right route for me,” she said. “I decided I was going to be active and involved advocating for Georgia. Georgia didn’t send me to the Senate to watch and learn.”
Loeffler joined the Senate while impeachment proceedings were underway, and “I was able quickly to be able to support President Trump in acquittal,” she said.
Loeffler said she has “three pieces of legislation” in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a pandemic relief bill.
She said she also has been advocating for farmers and small business owners.
“As a business person, I’m a problem solver,” she said.
“Since the day I was sworn in, I have delivered on every promise I made to demonstrate my conservative values,” she said.
Loeffler said she has supported “multiple pro-life pieces of legislation” and “I’ve stood strong with Second Amendment legislation as well as supporting the President’s Fair Trade initiative.”
“My focus is really on making a difference here in Georgia,” she said.
Insider Trading Charge
Loeffler said as a “business outsider” she knows “what it is like when Government picks winners and losers” and she wants a “level playing field” with a cutback in regulations.
Steven Strickland, Republican Party chair and moderator of the virtual meeting, asked Loeffler questions following her opening comments, and he asked her to comment on the charge that she had engaged in insider trading.
Loeffler said she had been exonerated on the inside trading charge.
“This was clearly a political attack, a witch hunt from the left, from the swamp and the media,” Loeffler said.
“I am not going to be intimidated by it,” she said. “I’m not going to back down.”
The video below is from the virtual meeting on May 28.
I recorded the session on my computer, but I was able to record only a small part of the actual video of the session.
I was able to record the audio.
Strickland told me he also did not have the video of the session.
I have laid three still clips over the audio to create the video below.