Pence will campaign on the eve of Georgia primary with Gov. Kemp, who faces a Trump-backed challenge

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As he struggles to fend off a lead challenge from former Trump-backed Republican Party Sen. David Perdue, conservative Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will get some last-minute help from a high-profile surrogate.

Former Vice President Mike Pence will join Kemp in the campaign trail ahead of Georgia’s May 24 primary, the Kemp campaign will announce Friday. Word of Pence’s trip to the Peach State to team up with the governor was first shared Friday morning with Fox News and two other news outlets.

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Pence, a former governor of Indiana before serving as vice president to former President Donald Trump, has crisscrossed the country for the past 15 months, helping support and fundraise for fellow Republicans running for office. 2021 and 2022 elections. Members of the former vice president’s political team have helped Kemp’s reelection team in recent months and Pence’s top aide and adviser, Marc Short, arrived a year ago. week and a half as the governor’s senior campaign adviser.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp team up for the campaign trail in Dalton, Georgia in November 2018.
(Brian Kemp’s re-election campaign)

“Brian Kemp is one of America’s most successful conservative governors,” Pence said in a statement. “He built a safer and stronger Georgia by lowering taxes, empowering parents and investing in teachers, funding law enforcement and standing strong for the right to life.”

The former vice president also underlined that “Brian Kemp is my friend, a man devoted to the faith, to the family and to the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years to Brian Kemp as as governor of the great state of Georgia.”

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The Governor congratulated Pence, noting that “the Vice President’s leadership has been instrumental in creating the most prosperous economy in American history, including here in Georgia, and his commitment to building a better America. safer and stronger represents the highest ideals of our party”.

Four years ago, with Trump’s backing, Kemp narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to win the governorship. But Kemp drew Trump’s ire from late 2020, after the governor certified President Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia in the presidential election after several vote recounts. Trump, who had unsuccessfully urged the governor and other top Republican state officials to overturn the results, has now returned to Georgia twice to campaign against Kemp.

Donald Trump shakes hands with former Senator David Perdue at the former president's rally in Cumming, Georgia on March 26, 2022.
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Donald Trump shakes hands with former Senator David Perdue at the former president’s rally in Cumming, Georgia on March 26, 2022.
(David Perdue Campaign)

For months, Trump has urged Perdue to challenge the governor, and late last year he endorsed Perdue a day after the former senator launched his candidacy. Perdue declared her candidacy days after Abrams, a champion of electoral reform and a rising star in the Democratic Party, launched her second straight gubernatorial bid. Trump held a rally with Perdue in Georgia a month and a half ago.

But regardless of Trump’s endorsement and support, with the Georgia primary less than two weeks away, Kemp enjoys a large lead over Perdue in two key campaign metrics – public opinion polls and fundraising. .

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The governor is hosting many high-profile businesses in the final days of his primary campaign. Kemp, who has the support of the Republican Governors Association, will be joined in the coming days on the campaign trail by the RGA co-chairs, the governors. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska. And Fox News was first to report on Thursday that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former RGA President, will join Kemp for campaign stops in Canton and Alpharetta, Ga., next Tuesday, May 17.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp takes a selfie with supporters during the campaign trail in Blakely, Georgia on April 20, 2022.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp takes a selfie with supporters during the campaign trail in Blakely, Georgia on April 20, 2022.

Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary — to some degree — appears to be turning into a proxy war for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

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Trump, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he continues to play kingmaker role in the 2022 GOP primaries, repeatedly teases another run for the White House in 2024 Meanwhile, Pence is taking all necessary steps ahead of a possible presidential race.

Christie, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination in 2016, has also publicly discussed his interest in making another presidential bid in 2024.

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