Georgia governor taps political newcomer to U.S. Senate, ignoring Trump's choice

Dec 4 (Reuters) - The Republican Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, on Wednesday named conservative businesswoman Kelly Loeffler as the state's next U.S. senator, picking her over U.S. President Donald Trump's preferred choice, Republican Representative Doug Collins.

Loeffler, a self-described "political outsider" will replace Senator Johnny Isakson, who will retire at the end of the month.

"In the U.S. Senate, I will work with President Trump to defend life, protect our borders, grow jobs, strengthen our military, and advance policies that Keep America Great, Loeffler said in a Facebook post.

Loeffler has portrayed herself as a lifelong conservative and a devout Christian who is firmly pro-Second Amendment, pro-military and pro-wall.

Trump threw his weight behind Kemp's campaign for governor in Georgia last year, which resulted in a narrow victory over Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams.

Trump sought to have Kemp appoint Collins to the soon-to-be vacant senate seat, wanting one of his staunchest defenders in that chamber ahead of a possible impeachment trial next year. (Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)