Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday endorsed Rep. Jack Kingston over businessman David Perdue in Georgia's Republican Senate primary runoff later this month.
"I’ve known Jack since we were both involved in building the Republican Party in Georgia in the dark days of Democratic domination," Gingrich, who served in the House from 1979 to 1999, said in a statement released by the Kingston campaign. "I helped convince him to run for Congress and to win a seat that hadn’t been held by a Republican since Reconstruction.
"As we built and implemented the 'Contract With America,' we knew we needed champions to communicate our vision of limited, constitutional government to the American people," he added. "We needed people unafraid to shake up the status quo in pursuit of advancing principled, conservative leadership.
"Jack Kingston rose to the challenge with a relentless zeal for reform and boundless energy to help implement the platform."
Kingston, a member of the House since 1993, faces Perdue in the July 22 runoff. The winner will square off against Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Kingston has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Newsmax
Gingrich, a co-host of "Crossfire" on CNN, added that he appointed Kingston to the House Appropriations Committee after he became speaker in 1995. He served until 1999.
"I knew he would have the wisdom and skill to cut waste from the federal budget," Gingrich said. "Kingston has helped lead the charge to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse at every level of government.
"He’s returned more than $1 million in his own office budget and slashed President Obama’s budget by $3.6 billion in just two years," he said.
Gingrich called the runoff "an extraordinarily important election. We have the opportunity to take back the Senate and force President Obama to acknowledge an alternative for America.
"We can cast a vision of opportunity and growth against the president’s politics of division and control.
"To do it, we’ll need leaders of experience, intelligence, and integrity," Gingrich said. "We’ll need Jack Kingston."
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