Brian Kemp wins Georgia gubernatorial primary by beating David Perdue

Gov. Brian Kemp won Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night, easily defeating former Sen. David Perdue in what became a divisive battle that was amplified by former President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press called the race around 8:30 p.m., and early results show Kemp winning in a blowout.

Perdue conceded the election shortly after the race was called, saying, according to an excerpt of his remarks, “You know everything I said about Brian Kemp was true, but here’s the something else I said was true, he’s a much better choice than Stacey Abrams, and so we’re going to support our governor.

Perdue, a former CEO and one-term senator, issued a challenge against Kemp in December, accusing Kemp “of giving in to Abrams and costing us two Senate seats, the Senate majority, and giving free rein to Joe Biden”.

Perdue had lost by a slim margin in the highly publicized polls in Georgia after the 2020 election, while Trump was beaten by current President Joe Biden in the closest race of any state in the country. The shocking Republican losses in the historically red state led Trump to call the election “rigged” and “stolen” and to allege widespread voter fraud had occurred.

The former president directed much of his outrage at Kemp, whom he has since repeatedly derided as a “RINO” and “awful,” almost exclusively because of Georgia’s 2020 election process.

Trump was quick to endorse Perdue in his gubernatorial pursuit, waging a clear proxy war against Kemp, who narrowly defeated Abrams with Trump’s backing in 2018.

“I beat [Abrams] alone, without a big contender, in 2018,” Trump said the week Perdue entered the race. “I will beat her again, but it will be hard to do with Brian Kemp because the MAGA base just won’t vote for him after what he has done on election integrity and two horribly run elections, for the president, then two senators. seats.”

Perdue has focused on electoral integrity from the start of his campaign, and the endorsement of Trump, who is well-liked by Republicans in Georgia, has been a defining feature of his candidacy.

But while Perdue entered the race with Trump’s coveted endorsement and even saw a promising early poll from generally reliable pollster Fabrizio, Lee and Associates, his campaign slowly soured.

Polls showed Perdue trailing Kemp by increasingly wide margins, while the former senator raised only a fraction of the money raised by the governor. the Atlanta Journal-Constitution observed that Perdue, a wealthy businessman, did not self-fund his campaign as deep-pocketed candidates sometimes do.

Trump, for his part, has invested heavily in Perdue. The former president hosted an expensive Mar-a-Lago fundraiser with Perdue, rallied with him in Georgia and tele-allied with him the day before the race. Federal documents show that Trump’s Save America PAC has invested more in Perdue this election cycle than any other candidate, pouring more than $2.5 million into anti-Kemp groups.

Meanwhile, Kemp had prominent Republican supporters like former Vice President Mike Pence and Nevada Governor Pete Ricketts come to campaign with him, and he also had the advantage of starting. He was able to get through much of the first pass of conservative legislation like the constitutional postponement and the elimination of race-based education in the classroom.

He raised teachers’ salaries this year and temporarily suspended the state gas tax, while celebrating two giant electric vehicle factory deals – with Rivian and Hyandai – that are expected to create thousands of jobs in Peach State.

Kemp is now heading into what should be a very competitive and costly rematch with Abrams.

Kemp announced in early May that he had $10.7 million in cash, and Abrams, no doubt seeking reimbursement for his 2018 loss, said more than $8 million on hand during the last reference period.

A recent poll by SurveyUSA provided an early look at the game, showing Kemp five points ahead of Abrams, 50% to 45%.

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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