U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston announces that he's joining the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' 1st District U.S. Senate seat, Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Savannah. Kingston is currently the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 1st congressional district located in Southeast Georgia. (AP Photo/Savannah Morning News, Steve Bisson)
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston announces Thursday that he's joining the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' 1st District seat, Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Savannah Morning News, Steve Bisson)
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's longest-serving Republican congressman says his campaign for the U.S. Senate will focus on "common sense" ideas and not "laugh lines for Jay Leno."
That's the closest U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah came Thursday to taking jabs at fellow GOP Reps. Paul Broun of Athens and Phil Gingrey of Marietta, who are now his opponents in the 2014 race to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Launching his campaign in Savannah, Kingston never mentioned his rivals by name.
Broun made headlines last year for denouncing evolution as "lies straight from the pit of hell." Gingrey was criticized for defending a Republican candidate's remarks on rape.
After 20 years in Congress, Kingston's candidacy could set up a primary showdown between traditional Republicans and conservatives aligned with tea party and evangelical groups.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.