Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp picked financial executive Kelly Loeffler to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, the governor's office announced Wednesday. The choice is a rebuff of President Donald Trump's lobbying for appointment of one of his biggest supporters in the House.
Ms. Loeffler is CEO of Atlanta-based bitcoin trading platform Bakkt LLC. Bakkt is affiliated with Intercontinental Exchange, where she has worked as an executive and where her husband, Jeff Sprecher, is CEO.
She has donated millions to Republican candidates and super PACs. Recipients have included the Georgia Republican Party, former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, current Sen. David Perdue and a super PAC that helped boost the candidacy of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Mr. Trump had been pressing Mr. Kemp to appoint Rep. Doug Collins, who has been a vocal defender of the president during the House impeachment inquiry. Messrs. Kemp and Mr. Trump had a tense meeting Nov. 24 at the White House, where the president outlined his objections to Ms. Loeffler, mainly that she was politically untested, according to a published report.