Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2014

Republican Hopeful Explains Van Damme Truck Trick (Video)

The candidate: Mike Collins, a Republican
The member: Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., is running for Senate, leaving his seat open in 2014.
The 10th District: Broun has held this strong GOP district since 2007, soundly winning re-election each cycle since then. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 62 percent.
The candidate’s team: Brandon Phillips at Wiregrass Strategy Group (general consultant) and Bob Kish at Third Wave Communications (media).

In a crowded field of Republicans seeking the soon-t0-be-empty seat of Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., trucking company owner Mike Collins argues his experience in business sets him apart.

“In this race, I am the only person who owns and operates a business on a daily basis,” Collins said, referring to his trucking company in a Dec. 4 interview with CQ Roll Call.

Collins is the son of former Rep. Mac Collins, R-Ga., who served in Congress for more than a decade and unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2006. He recently released an internal poll showing him with a minute lead and almost 60 percent of respondents undecided. For that reason and others, local GOP operatives caution the primary is unpredictable.

If his business acumen and family name don’t set Collins apart from his competitors, he can probably boast that he’s the most flexible Republican in the field. Collins recently parodied an ad in which Jean-Claude Van Damme performs a split between two Volvo trucks.

“No accidents; I would say we probably did in the neighborhood of six, seven takes,” Collins said. “It was a lot of fun.”

If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in the May 20 primary — very likely given the crowded field — the top two GOP contenders will proceed to a July 22 run-off.

The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.

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