With Mississippi's Thad Cochran-Chris McDaniel showdown in the rearview mirror, the Peach State is set to play host to the next big battle between the establishment and tea-party wings of the Republican Party.
Unlike in Mississippi, however, this split is not manifesting itself in Georgia's Senate runoff election, where Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue are duking it out. Rather, it's coming in the much lower-profile race to succeed Kingston in his conservative Savannah-based district.
On one side in Georgia's 1st Congressional District, there's Earl "Buddy" Carter, a Republican who's held elected office for more than two decades, serving in both the state House and Senate and before that, as the mayor of a small town called Pooler. Meanwhile, his opponent, Bob Johnson, is a tea-party-backed surgeon and a retired Army Ranger who has never run for office before.
Despite his status as a political unknown, Johnson received endorsements from FreedomWorks and the Madison Project before the six-way May 20 primary, but after he advanced, the heavier-hitting conservative groups Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund quickly lined up behind him, as did the Tea Party Express. Carter hasn't seen the same level of support from national groups, but he is beginning to pick up some noteworthy supporters, like John McCallum, a former aide to Newt Gingrich who finished third in the 1st District primary, and the National Rifle Association. The runoff election is less than four weeks away.