Newt Gingrich endorses David Shafer in lieutenant governor’s race

Duluth-based state Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer picked up the endorsement of another big name in state and national Republican circles this week in his bid to be Georgia’s next lieutenant governor.

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich endorsed Shafer on Tuesday. The veteran Georgia politician and ex-presidential candidate, known for his Contract With America that helped lead to Republicans taking control of the House in 1994, praised Shafer for his conservative credentials.

Shafer led the Georgia Republican Party in the early 1990s and has championed issues such as zero-based budgeting and limiting tax increases.

 “David Shafer is an effective, innovative legislator with a solidly conservative record to back up his campaign promises,” Gingrich said. “He has proven time and again that he will fight for us. David Shafer will make an outstanding Lieutenant Governor for Georgia and I am proud to endorse him.”

Gingrich’s endorsement of Shafer is the latest person who, one time or another, had a national profile in Republican politics. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and former congressman and ex-presidential candidate Bob Barr have announced their support for the state senator, as has former Rep. John Linder.

Shafer’s other high profile endorsements include philanthropist Bernie Marcus and state Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

For more than two decades, starting in 1978, Gingrich represented Georgia’s sixth congressional district. He was then picked by his colleagues in 1995 to serve as speaker of the house. In 2012, he ran for the Republican nomination for president, winning Georgia’s presidential primary that year.

He has been a FOX News Channel political contributor since 2015. He had previously been a contributor to the network from 1999 to 2011.

Shafer praised the former speaker of the house, particularly for his role in building the Republican party at the state level.

“(Gingrich is a) visionary leader who helped create the modern Georgia Republican Party,” Shafer said.