Retiring Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) endorsed radio show host and Baptist minister Jody Hice (R) as his successor on Monday.
"I encourage the voters of the 10th district to vote for Jody Hice to replace me in the U.S. Congress," Broun said in a radio interview.
Hice faces off against businessman Mike Collins (R) in a July 22 runoff to replace Broun. Broun lost in a five-way GOP primary for the U.S. Senate in May, the results of which will pit Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and businessman David Perdue (R) against each other in a July 22 runoff.
Broun said he supported Hice over Collins because he believes Collins would vote to raise the debt ceiling and "do whatever the leadership wants."
"I believe very firmly that Jody Hice will take up my mantle that I, and the torch that I've been carrying to fight, stop this out of control spending," Broun said.
He tweeted about the endorsement as well:
Hice has made some controversial comments about Islam in the past. He told a tea party crowd in July 2011 that "most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not. It's a totalitarian way of life with a religious component."
Hice also wrote in his 2012 book that "although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology."
"It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection," he wrote.
In the same book, Hice makes disparaging comments about homosexuality and references the Nazis on numerous occasions.
The victor in the runoff will challenge Athens, Georgia, attorney Ken Dious (D) in the November general election.