Mac Collins, pioneering rural Georgia Republican, dead at 74

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians are remembering Mac Collins, a truck driver-turned-lawmaker who helped build Georgia’s Republican Party. Collins died Tuesday and a funeral is scheduled Sunday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the cause of death of the 74-year-old Collins wasn’t immediately known.

Collins represented a Macon-based U.S. House district from 1992 to 2004. He stepped down to run for U.S. Senate, losing a Republican primary to Johnny Isakson. He narrowly lost a comeback bid to the U.S. House in 2006.

The trucking company owner won election to both the Butts County Commission and the Georgia Senate on his third tries. Collins started politics as a Democrat but switched to the GOP in 1981.

Gov. Nathan Deal ordered flags at the state Capitol and in Butts County to fly at half-staff Friday through Sunday.

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