GA Democrat's Campaign Manager Called 'White Evangelicalism' a 'Perversion'

'Fraudulent strain of Christianity'

Kendra Cotton / GPB
August 9, 2019

The new campaign manager for Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson tweeted last year that "white evangelicalism "was a "perversion" and "fraudulent strain of Christianity."

Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, Ga., named Kendra Cotton as her campaign manager on Monday, touting her as a "seasoned campaign professional with a strategic mind and a natural intuition as to what is important to regular folk."

Cotton tweeted last June, when the Trump administration's child separation border policy was under sharp scrutiny, "Well at least the SHAM that is white evangelicalism is being exposed for the perversion and fraudulent strain of Christianity that it is!"

She sent several other tweets and retweets around the same period criticizing Trump border policies.

A Pew study estimates 38 percent of Georgians are Evangelical Protestants. Cotton didn't respond to a request for comment.

Along with Clarkston (Ga.) Mayor Ted Terry, Tomlinson is one of two Democrats so far to seek the 2020 nomination to challenge Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.). Perdue, who was first elected in 2014, has pledged to only serve two terms.

Tomlinson entered the race after Stacey Abrams, who fell short in her 2018 gubernatorial bid against Republican Brian Kemp, decided not to run. A former Republican herself, she has touted her ability to "speak Republican" in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since the late Sen. Zell Miller in 2000.

"I may be able to help explain this communication and understanding gap and how to bridge it. I am a Democrat who speaks fluent Republican," she wrote in The Daily Beast in 2017.

In an interview with Mother Jones, she said she understood Republicans well and called herself "fairly adept at being able to explain why progressive policies actually intersect with their general governing theory."

While she's framed herself as a pragmatic progressive, she hasn't been shy about divisive political issues. She supports impeaching President Donald Trump, and she is a sharp critic of a newly signed pro-life bill by Georgia governor Brian Kemp (R.).

Tomlinson raised only $520,000 in the last quarter, leaving her with a sizable cash disadvantage compared to Perdue and opening the door for more Democrats to enter the field. Others that could still jump in are former Georgia Sixth District candidate Jon Ossoff and Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost a race last year in Georgia for lieutenant governor.