Gingrey, who came in fourth in last month’s primary with 19 percent, formally endorsed Kingston, the second-place finisher. Kingston is in a runoff against frontrunner David Perdue that concludes July 22.
Gingrey said he changed his mind about not making an endorsement because of what his own backers told him.
“These folks have let me know they want me to support Jack Kingston,” Gingrey said. “I’ve not heard from one of my former supporters telling me they are supporting Perdue.”
Kingston and Gingrey have had similar political careers. Both served in the General Assembly before multiple terms in Congress -- Kingston from Savannah for 22 years and Gingrey from Marietta for 12. When asked about points of disagreement, neither could think of any.
“In addition to being friends, Phil and I have a great philosophical affinity,” Kingston said.
Gingrey described Perdue as a moderate, a label rejected by Perdue, the cousin of Georgia’s first Republican governor and a former CEO of Dollar General and other major corporations.
Perdue renewed his challenge Monday for Kingston to release 10 years of tax returns as the former executive had earlier in the primary. Kingston announced at the morning news conference that his were now ready for inspection by reporters.
Perdue has been called rich and out of touch by opponents but has made no apology for what he’s earned in the private sector. He countered by asking how Kingston as a public servant could amass a personal fortune while in office.
Whichever candidate wins the GOP nomination will face Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in November.