U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler took office at the beginning of the year, and since then, she said she has been adjusting to her new role, helping with the COVID-19 response and other pieces of legislation and preparing for the November “jungle primary” for the seat.
This week, Loeffler took a few minutes to talk with Forsyth County News about a variety of topics, including the state and federal responses to COVID-19, and said she has been working with federal and state leaders to ensure that Georgians are protected.
“In my role on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, I was able to help shape the legislation that we were able to draft to respond to COVID-19 in terms of designing the relief but also then stayed incredibly busy helping deliver the relief, and it's given me the opportunity to connect with so many Georgians,” Loeffler said. “Families, employers, our health care leaders across the state have worked with the governor to make sure that we understand what the needs on the ground are for the state and have been able to deliver billions of dollars of relief to Georgia.”
Loeffler said moving forward, a fifth COVID-19 relief package was being considered and said “what we’re looking at right now is how to be targeted and help families, employers, the health care system, to get back on their feet.
She has also developed the USA Restoring and Igniting the Strength of our Economy, or RISE, plan, which would focus on growing and buying from American businesses.
“We need to continue to take those measures to keep everyone safe,” Loeffler said, “but get back to school, work, church, and synagogue, and I think as we see the economic numbers coming back, what I'm looking at right now and working with the administration on is, ‘what did we miss?’ or ‘what is needed in terms of federal relief to get our country back on its feet,’ and so it's been incredibly busy at the same time.”
Other pieces of legislation Loeffler has sponsored or introduced include measures aimed at preventing technology company from censoring conservative voices online and outlawing any potential database of licensed gun owners or a national gun registry for lawful gun owners.
She has also supported several measures in support of law enforcement.
Loeffler was born in Bloomington, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University.
She is a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and until her appointment to the Senate, was CEO of Bakkt, a digital assets platform created by International Exchange.
Loeffler voting for acquittal in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has long supported conservative causes, including protecting the Second Amendment, being pro-life, cutting taxes and is a supporter of the proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
She was sworn into the office in January after being selected by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the seat of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, who held the office from 2005 until 2019 before stepping down last year due to health concerns.
Isakson last won re-election in 2018 for a six-year term, and this November, Loeffler and 20 other candidates in a ‘jungle primary,’ which, unlike other races where separate primaries are held for Republicans and Democrats to pick their party’s representative, will pit all candidates against each other.
In no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote plus one vote, the top two vote-getters will go to a runoff on Jan. 5.
Starting on Wednesday, July 8 and continuing through Friday, July 17, Loeffler will be making stops in 14 counties across the state, including in Cherokee County on July 8, as part of her All About Georgia Statewide Tour.
“I am really excited to get to know more Georgians,” she said. “That's probably the most rewarding part of my job is hearing directly from Georgians and reaching out to them and letting them know how important their views, their support is to me so that I can continue to do my best and representing them in Washington.”
As Georgia’s primary made national headlines due to long lines and other issues, Loeffler said she had been in contact with elections officials that changes were being made and that casting a ballot “should not be a political issue.”
“I know that the state is working hard at ensuring that the challenges faced are resolved, and obviously we need to do that before the runoffs in August, and I'm confident that they're working very hard,” she said. “I've seen the formation of task forces and reviews to do that, so I trust that our state will do that. I think what we have to make sure is that Georgians trust the process and you know that both their vote and their voice will be heard. That's absolutely critical.”
As Democratic leaders both in the state and nationwide have made it a clear priority to flip Georgia and many Congressional seats blue, Loeffler said it was “absolutely critical” to keep Georgia as a conservative stronghold.
“It's absolutely critical that we keep the Senate in Republican hands nationally and that we re-elect Republicans to the Senate,” Loeffler said. “I know that I have the strongest conservative record of anyone in my race, and I also know that as a political outsider my interests are solely focused on delivering results for Georgians.”