Vernon Jones had Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia in his sights.
“I’m sick of those RINO Republicans who want to speak like Ron DeSantis but they want to walk like Mitt Romney,” said Jones, who earlier this year launched a right-wing primary challenge against the Georgia governor for the first term. he referred to the governor when addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas.
KEMP TASKS DEMOCRATS TO TRY TO CANCEL CONSERVATIVES AS GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA FORMALLY LAUNCHES 2022 CAMPAIGN
A day earlier at CPAC, one of the top three Conservative challenges vying for Governor Greg Abbott of Texas was for the two-term Republican governor.
“We don’t have Donald Trump as governor, we don’t have Ron DeSantis as governor,” accused former conservative state senator Don Huffines. “Unfortunately, we have a career politician who is a political windsock, a RINO.”
Huffins and Jones are among a handful of conservatives and staunch supporters of former President Trump who have launched primary challenges against sitting Republican governors who are running for re-election next year.
Also on the list is former Rep. Jim Renacci, who hopes to eliminate Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a former two-term senator. In declaring his candidacy last month, Renacci claimed DeWine was “more interested in being the Andrew Cuomo of Ohio rather than helping the people of Ohio on a daily basis” and called the governor “a politician. careers”.
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Trump, nearly six months away from the White House, remains hugely popular and influential with Republican base voters as he takes on the role of kingmaker in the 2022 GOP primaries while repeatedly flirting with a presidential candidacy of 2024.
Former Massachusetts State Representative Geoff Diehl is also a supporter of the former President, Trump’s co-chair in the state during the White House race in 2016.
Diehl last week became the first Republican to launch a campaign in the 2022 Bay State gubernatorial election. Popular two-term GOP governor Charlie Baker, who is no fan of the former president, has yet to announce whether he will run again next year.
“It should come as no surprise that the politicians who back President Trump have decided to run for the primaries against the incumbent governors. Donald Trump is very popular within the Republican primary base,” the Republican strategist told Fox News veteran Mike Biundo.
“These candidates think they can harvest that energy and lead it to victory,” said Biundo, a veteran of many presidential and national campaigns, including Trump’s 2016 campaign. “It’s not a bad bet. from them.”
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With backing from the then president, Kemp narrowly defeated Democratic voting champion and former state legislator Stacey Abrams to win the governorship in 2018. Although she did not announce his intentions, it is very likely that Abrams will run for governor again next year.
But as he runs for reelection, Kemp faces Trump’s wrath.
Trump has vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against Kemp to punish his former ally for refusing to help then-president’s efforts last year to overturn election results in Georgia. Ballots in Georgia have been counted three times – the initial count on election day, a mandatory manual recount, and a recount requested by the presidential campaign.
Trump refused to give in to Joe Biden and claimed for two months that there had been massive voter fraud in Georgia and five other states where Biden narrowly won. Dozens of court challenges from Trump and his allies were shot down, and then Attorney General William Barr said his Justice Department had not seen fraud on a scale that could overthrow the elections. Trump has repeatedly attacked Kemp for refusing to help his attempts to undo Biden’s victory.
At a rally in Georgia on the eve of the twin Senate elections on January 5, Trump vowed, “I’ll be here in about a year and a half campaigning against your governor.”
While Trump is blamed by some Republicans for Democrats’ sweeping Georgia Senate run-off – giving Democrats a majority in the House – some Tories blame Kemp for agreeing to relax certain voting access rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jones, at CPAC, said, “Governor Kemp cost us two seats in the United States Senate… because he was afraid of Stacey Abrams.
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Huffins, during his speech a day earlier, asked, “Where’s Greg Abbott?” Why isn’t he here?
Responding to his own question, he accused the governor of “being absent because he does not want to confront you”.
Abbott, who was invited to speak at the Dallas event, remained in the state capital of Austin to oversee a special session of the Texas Legislature he asked to complete unfinished business of the ordinary session, including a new push to pass an election able to tighten the rules of access to the vote. And on Saturday, the governor briefed state lawmakers and county sheriffs along the southern border with Texas of the state’s ongoing efforts to address the US-Mexico border crisis.
Earlier this year, Huffines said, “I am clearly candidate Trump in the race for governor.
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But unlike Kemp or DeWine, Abbott’s reelection bid was approved by Trump. And the governor – who, amid the wave of migrants crossing the southern border this year, pledged to complete construction of the border wall started during Trump’s tenure in the White House – two weeks ago, did headlines as he joined Trump for an event at an unfinished part of the border wall in Texas.
Abbott also faces major right-wing challenges from former Texas GOP President Allen West and political commentator Chad Prather. West, who served a politically charged term in Congress representing a district in Florida, did not mention the governor as he addressed the throng of activists and Tory leaders at CPAC on Sunday morning. But as chairman of the state’s GOP last year, he took the extremely unusual step of vocally criticizing Abbott’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, and even took part in an anti-Abbott protest outside the governor’s mansion.
While facing political threats from the right, Abbott and Kemp have raised large amounts of campaign money in recent months, and DeWine’s has also amassed a substantial war chest, giving incumbents big fundraising benefits. compared to their challengers.
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And a veteran Republican agent pointed to another political bonus – the track record of GOP incumbents this year in resisting President Biden’s administration.
“These Republican governors have been able to polish their credentials with grassroots voters through various feuds with the Biden administration or the awakened left,” said the agent, who asked to remain anonymous. “Being a governor is a results-driven business and voters will bet on unproven products in search of relevance. “
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