Martha ZollerA pair of felled Georgia Republican congressional hopefuls have hung a local shingle for a national nonpartisan group pressing lawmakers to eliminate the ballooning federal debt.

Martha Zoller and Rick Allen, the first runners-up in the state’s two most competitive primary contests this cycle, launched this week the Georgia chapter of Fix the Debt, a group co-founded by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson.

At a capitol press conference announcing the chapter’s launch, Zoller said the nation’s debt and deficit, which recently crested the $16 trillion mark, was a transcendent national security crisis.

“It is the number one national security issue, fiscal issue and economic issue,” Zoller, a popular north Georgia conservative radio talker, said. Allen warned the “economy could collapse” if policymakers fail to alter the nation’s fiscal trajectory.

In addition to the Georgia operation, Fix the Debt laid state roots throughout the country this week as it mobilizes for an aggressive lame-duck lobbying effort.

– James Richardson