Kemp’s landslide victory in Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary is a bitter setback for Trump

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Former President Donald Trump went all out for former Senator David Perdue of Georgia.

But the former president’s immense popularity and influence with Republican voters and the press across the court for Perdue did little to spur the former senator’s unsuccessful primary challenge against the governor. of GOP Brian Kemp.

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Kemp – who sits at the top of Trump’s Republican Party revenge list and was targeted by the former president for nearly a year and a half for failing to reverse Trump’s 2020 election defeat to the current President Biden in the key battleground state – crushed Perdue in Tuesday’s GOP primary to win renomination.

Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia celebrates his first nighttime nominating victory, May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
(Fox News)

The governor’s landslide victory over Perdue sets up a high-profile, high-stakes rematch in November’s general election with Democrat Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost to Kemp four years ago. Abrams, a rising Democratic Party star and nationally recognized suffrage champion, faced no opposition in her party’s primary.

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“Georgia Republicans went to the polls and overwhelmingly approved four more years of our vision for this great state,” Kemp said in his first night’s victory speech to a large crowd of fans at the College Football Hall of Fame. Fame in downtown Atlanta.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to reporters on Georgia primary day, May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to reporters on Georgia primary day, May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
(Fox News)

As Kemp celebrated, the results in Georgia represented a setback for Trump, who 16 months away from the White House continues to play a kingmaker role in Republican Party politics as he endorsed dozens of candidates up and down in the 2022 election. And in Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks, whom Trump backed and then dropped, made it a runoff for the GOP Senate nomination.

But Trump picked up some victories in a high-profile and competitive primaries on Tuesday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was endorsed by the former president, crushed challenger George P. Bush, the state land commissioner, in a GOP runoff. And Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, who was backed by Trump, beat two main right-wing challengers to win renomination in the heavily red state.

“President Trump continues to win everywhere after scoring another huge night of victories for his endorsed candidates. Americans are clearly united around restoring President Trump’s leadership and policies in 2022 and beyond,” the official said. Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich in a statement to Fox News. .

Four years ago, with the backing of the then president, Kemp narrowly beat Abrams. But Kemp angered Trump after certifying the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election after two recounts of the vote. Trump pilloried Kemp at a rally in Georgia last year, and he repeatedly urged Perdue to challenge the governor and endorsed him the day after the former senator announced his candidacy. in December.

TRUMP AND PENCE HOLD DUEL RALLIES FOR LOST AND KEMP ON EVE OF PRIMARY IN GEORGIA

Trump traveled to Georgia in late March to headline a rally for Perdue, starred in his campaign ads and called for two tele-rallies this month, including one on the eve of the primary.

“We have a governor who has done the worst job of any governor in probably decades at election integrity,” Trump charged. “Kemp is truly an embarrassment to the Republican Party because of what happened in your great state of Georgia.”

Former President Donald Trump shakes hands with former Senator David Perdue, who is the top challenger to GOP Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, at the former President's rally in Cumming, Georgia on March 26, 2022

Former President Donald Trump shakes hands with former Senator David Perdue, who is the top challenger to GOP Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, at the former President’s rally in Cumming, Georgia on March 26, 2022
(David Perdue Campaign)

But Trump’s attacks were far from enough to topple an incumbent governor who, thanks to his record, remains popular with Georgia’s conservatives, despite repeated attacks from the former president.

“We’ve created record jobs, kept politics out of the classroom and ball diamonds. We’ve brought violent criminals to justice. We’ve put more money into our schools and secured our elections,” he said. underlined Kemp.

Perdue may not be the only Trump-backed candidate to be defeated in Georgia’s GOP primaries. Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – who was also repeatedly targeted by Trump for resisting the then-president’s demands to overturn the 2020 election results – led Trump-backed challenger Rep. Jody Here. But with the vote still counted, it was unclear whether Raffensperger would avoid a primary run-off next month with Hice.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger addresses the Buckhead Young Republicans, May 19, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger addresses the Buckhead Young Republicans, May 19, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(FoxNews)

Perdue becomes the third Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate to lose in this year’s primaries.

Last week in Idaho, Trump backed far-right Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who was the best-known of the seven main challengers who ran against incumbent Republican Gov. Brad Little. The governor easily crushed the field in Tuesday’s primary, winning the nomination.

And a week earlier, Charles Herbster — the candidate the former president endorsed and held a rally on his behalf in Nebraska’s GOP governor’s primary — was edged out by Jim Pillen, who was backed by the governor. outgoing and limited-time Pete Ricketts.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton campaigns in Gilmer, Texas on May 19, 2022

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton campaigns in Gilmer, Texas on May 19, 2022
(Ken Paxton campaign)

Veteran Republican strategist Marc Short, a longtime top adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived a month ago as Kemp’s senior campaign adviser, pointed out that “the President still has a huge impact on our primary voters.”

And Short stressed that it’s “indisputable” that Trump’s endorsement of JD Vance propelled the former hedge fund executive and best-selling author to victory in Ohio’s crowded and explosive GOP Senate primary. three weeks ago, and that the former president’s support for Mehmet Oz was crucial to the famed heart surgeon and doctor’s rise to prominence in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary, where Oz and rival David McCormick are heading to a recount one week after the elections.

But Short said that in competitive GOP primaries, “you have to have your own history, your own record, and one Trump endorsement won’t be enough.”

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Erick Erickson, a Georgia-based conservative radio host and nationally known blogger who supported Kemp, noted that Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary was a race where Trump “bet his name” and “he couldn’t win it.” to have “. [Perdue] on the finish line. So yeah, this one is going to sting the most.”

“For Republicans in Georgia, it turns out they’re more interested in beating Stacey Abrams than healing Trump’s grievances,” Erickson explained.

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