Republican David Shafer is lining up more prominent supporters in an attempt to scare off rivals and establish himself as the front-runner in the race for lieutenant governor.
The board of GOPAC, the influential conservative advocacy, endorsed the Gwinnett state senator this week. GOPAC chair Dave Avella said Shafer's support as Senate pro tem of "policies to increase economic and personal security leads the roster of reasons" it will support him.
Shafer is trying to consolidate support from influential Republican policymakers and moneymen to back his bid for Georgia's No. 2 office. All five members of Georgia's Public Service Commission have endorsed him. So has GOP mega-donor Bernie Marcus.
The battle lines are being drawn in the race to replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor. State Sen. Rick Jeffares and state Rep. Geoff Duncan are also in the race, and state Sen. Steve Gooch is exploring a run.
Former state Rep. Ronnie Mabra and ex-state Sen. Doug Stoner are among the Democrats scouting a campaign.
GOPAC was founded in 1978 by Delaware Gov. Pete DuPont and became an influential voice in conservative politics during the 1980s and 1990s. It recruits and trains candidates to run for public office: Among them Jeffares, who was a graduate of GOPAC's leadership program.