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Greg Bluestein

Under fire, Barry Loudermilk gets back-up from key tea party group

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Freshman U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, shown during his campaign last year. AJC file

Freshman U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, during his campaign last year. AJC file

Facing an onslaught of challengers, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk picked up an endorsement Tuesday from an influential tea party organization.

FreedomWorks PAC said it was endorsing the Cassville Republican, who picked up four primary challenges last week. It called Loudermilk “among the best of the next generation of freedom fighters.”

“Since his time as a state legislator in Georgia, Loudermilk has been a strong, principled conservative,” said FreedomWorks PAC Chairman Adam Brandon. “He has continued to show a commitment to limited government and pro-growth policies in the House.”

Hayden Collins, Billy Davis, William Llop and Daniel Cowan have all signed up to challenge Loudermilk in the May 24 GOP primary. (A Democrat, Marietta banker Don Wilson, is also running in the heavily-conservative northwest Atlanta district). Cowan, an executive with a major infrastructure corporation in Atlanta, has attracted particular attention.

Loudermilk is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, the insurgent tea party-inspired group that helped oust Speaker John Boehner. But he’s caught heat for joining most of the caucus in supporting Rep. Paul Ryan for the post despite blowback from some conservative activists.