Former three-term congressman Doug Collins is still generating plenty of political chatter, despite no longer holding public office.
Even as he enters what he calls a “transition period” from the political arena, he knows that people are watching for his next move.
“There has been a lot of talk on what I’m planning to do (in 2022),” Collins said in a Feb. 18 interview with the Times. “I’m enjoying the stage I’m in right now, coming down from a busy role as a representative and just enjoying life with my wife here in Gainesville.
Collins earned a national spotlight as a one of eight Republican congressmen on the legal defense team for then-President Donald Trump during Trump’s first Senate impeachment trial.
He then made a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2020 but placed third in the state’s crowded nonpartisan jungle primary to Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and her eventual successor, Democrat Raphael Warnock.
Collins’ seat in the U.S. House was filled by Republican Andrew Clyde.
Speculation over the past few weeks has pointed to Collins possibly making a challenge for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022.
Collins, a Gainesville native who represented Georgia’s 9th District, which includes Hall County, said he isn’t “ruling anything out” when it comes to political prospects.
He’s also not “ruling anything in” when it comes to committing to a future run for public office in 2022.
As for right now? He’s returning to the legal arena, joining Clarkesville-based law firm Oliver & Weidner, specializing in civil and criminal litigation.
“A lot of people are asking me what my next move is going to be,” Collins said. “We’re not ruling anything in. We’re not ruling anything out. But I’m focused on being the same guy born and raised from Gainesville, who wants to continue to serve people and find out where I can best help.”
Collins received a degree in political science and criminal justice from the University of North Georgia and earned a juris doctor in 2009 from the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. He served three terms in the Georgia House of Representatives before his election to the U.S. House.
He said joining the Clarkesville-based firm is one of the ways he wants to continue a career in public service.
“By joining Oliver & Wiedner, I get to go back to doing what I love and representing people who are in need of legal counsel,” he said. “(Public service) is about people making connections, understanding what’s affecting people and defending them and their principles.”
The firm was founded by Bill Oliver and Jim Weidner in 2006 and tries federal and state cases, including the United States Supreme Court.
Collins is no stranger to federal court cases, especially, high-profile federal cases.
After serving on Trump’s legal defense team in the first impeachment trial, the Trump team also retained Collins’ services to lead recount efforts in Georgia following the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden.
“I have a record of trying cases and a proven track record of protecting rights,
whether it’s in D.C. or Georgia,” he said. “This next opportunity allows me to continue doing that good work in a different sphere by representing those who need it.”
The Times has been covering Doug Collins' political career for years. Upon news of his joining a North Georgia law firm, we caught up with him to discuss firsthand what his political plans may be. Thank you to our subscribers, who make our work possible. For those interested in becoming part of our mission to provide fair, unbiased local news, please consider these two options.
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