Georgia’s newest U.S. senator, businesswoman Kelly Loeffler, says immigration reform will be among her top legislative priorities after she is sworn in on Monday January 6th.

“Our borders are broken. We need to fix those first. That’s job Number 1,” Loeffler said yesterday (Dec. 30) in an interview with InsiderAdvantage Georgia CEO Phil Kent on Augusta radio station WGAC. “We’ve got to look out for the American worker and serve Americans first and protect the safety of our communities. Drug cartels are working in America and Georgia, trafficking weapons and guns. It’s got to stop. We’ve got to stop the problems on the border first.”

Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the remaining term of retiring U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. She praised Isakson during the interview and announced her office will keep many of his staff, some of whom are well-known to Georgians. “I’m very fortunate to be able to do that,” said Loeffler, who sent in an application for the job to Kemp.

“I have long felt a calling to serve our state and our country in some way. When I saw this opportunity come up — first of all, I was sad to see Senator Isakson step down (because) I have been an admirer of his for a long time. I called the governor and explained my conservative values and how I might use my experience in the private sector to help our state and our country.”

Leoffler is CEO of Bakkt, an Atlanta financial services firm, and one of the owners of the city’s WNBA women’s basketball team The Atlanta Dream. She is the former chief communications and marketing officer and head of investor relations for Intercontinental Exchange, a financial trading platform that owns the New York Stock Exchange. It was founded by Loeffler’s husband, Jeff Sprecher.

Loeffler, who grew up on a fourth-generation corn and soybean farm in Illinois, said she will serve on the Senate’s Agricultural Committee, as well as Veterans Affairs and Health, Education, Labor and Pension panels.

The daughter and granddaughter of veterans told Kent she’ll work to see that “the 700,000-plus veterans that live in Georgia have access and support that they need and so much deserve.”

While on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, the soon-to-be senator also said she will “work with President Trump and my colleagues to lower healthcare costs and increase access as well as focus on improved educational outcomes.”

Loeffler lauded the president and pledged to help him get re-elected.

“His record is really unparalleled in recent history in terms of the accomplishments that he’s had in just three short years,” she said. “It’s hard to know where to begin in terms of appointing conservative judges — 50 to the circuit courts already — and dealing with the terrible Iran nuclear deal, securing our borders, fighting for trade and protecting our Second Amendment. I can tell you I’ll vote for him again. I’m proud to support his efforts, and I’ll be working (in) Georgia to make sure we have a strong turnout in 2020.”

Loeffler and colleague U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., both will be on the November 2020 general election ballot.

James Folker is a staff writer for InsiderAdvantage Georgia.

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