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Rick Santorum Endorses in Georgia Race

Rick Santorum is a Republican from Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., endorsed businessman Mike Collins in Georgia's 10th District GOP runoff Monday, calling him a "rock-solid conservative who will be guided by the U.S. Constitution in Congress."  

"Mike has laid out a bold plan of conservative policies that will push back overbearing federal regulations, revitalize the entrepreneurial spirit and provide more opportunities for blue collar Americans," Santorum added in the release. "We need more conservative businessmen like Mike Collins in Congress."  

Collins faces pastor Jody Hice, a Republican, in a July 22 runoff. Republicans have described Rice as a candidate in the mold of the congressman he is trying to succeed, conservative firebrand Paul Broun. Broun, known for his outspoken comments on evolution , ran an unsuccessful bid for Senate in Georgia, leaving his House district open. In recent days, Hice has said Islam is not protected by the First Amendment , and that women must seek permission from their husbands to run for office.  

Hice came in first in the May 20 GOP primary with 33 percent, leading Collins by a mere 270 votes . Candidates in Georgia need at least 50 percent to win a primary outright.  

Whoever wins the GOP runoff will likely become the next member of Congress from this district, which voted for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney with 63 percent.  

Georgia's 10th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.