Bryn Anderson / AP
Gov. Gov. Brian Kemp of the Republic of Georgia has won the Republican governor’s primaries over former U.S. Sen. David Purdue, according to the Associated Press.
Purdue was involved in the race and backed by former President Donald Trump. Throughout the campaign, both continued to claim – without evidence – that Kemp had allowed Democrats to steal the 2020 presidential election.
After Purdue entered the race, the primaries became a test of Trump’s power over the Republican Party and whether voter resonance continues in two years to re-resolve complaints about the 2020 election.
Now Kemp is turning to a rematch in November this year with Democrat Stacey Abrams, whom he barely won in office in 2018. If the primaries are a sign of enthusiasm before the fall, voters in Georgia voted for a record number of early voting in the May primaries.
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Kemp, hoping to hold power in his position to consolidate support among staunch Republican voters, signed a law this year on a list of conservative priorities. These included legislation that allows Georgians to carry a gun without permission, as well as education bills that ban the teaching of so-called “separation concepts” in classrooms and allow parents to remove their children from school masks.
Separately, seeking to alleviate the pain of rising food and gas prices, Kemp sent part of the state budget surplus to approve income tax cuts, increases for teachers and civil servants and a temporary suspension of the expiring state gas tax. after the primary.
Purdue, meanwhile, has largely argued his candidacy on the view that widespread election fraud has affected President Biden’s 2020 election.
The lie in the election continues
During Purdue’s introductory statement at the recent debate, his first words were: “First, people, let me say very clearly tonight that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen.”
Numerous inspections have provided no evidence of widespread election fraud in Georgia.
In the months leading up to the election, then-President Trump appealed to senior Georgian Republican officials to help him undo Biden’s victory in Georgia, including calling on Georgian Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger in January to “find” him for 11,780 votes. He refused.
Since then, Kemp’s relationship with the former president has deteriorated, and Trump has urged Purdue to make an initial statement against him. Basically, Kemp managed to stay above the constant barrage of Trump’s insults.
Even some Republicans who believe false allegations of widespread fraud in 2020 say they have not been affected by Trump’s approval of the governor’s race.
“I like President Trump, but he can say pretty sneaky things, and I don’t always agree with what he says,” Linda Dickerson said before the Kemp stop at an apple orchard in Elijah, Georgia. She said she voted for Camp. because she was impressed with the way he managed the economy amid the pandemic.
Experts and strategists will now begin to reap the main results of Georgia to see if the Republican Party can move away from Trump – and whether the former president’s false statements about election fraud could survive his own political influence.
Robert Duffy said he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, but would not vote for him when the former president ran for a third time. Pulling a margarita in a quaint town square in the suburbs of Alpharetta, Georgia, Duffy said he was ready to back away from the insistence of Trump and other Republicans that the 2020 election was rigged.
“At this point, it’s a little off,” Duffy said. “Why are we looking back at this point? I think it’s holding back our efforts in the Republican Party to move forward.”
While several primary contests come to the second round in late June because no candidate received 50% of the vote, Kemp can now focus on his overall election campaign against Abrams.
More than a million new people have registered to vote in Georgia, many of them colored, after a small loss of Abrams in 2018, but Democrats face a challenging national climate where inflation, war abroad and Biden’s stalled domestic agenda could dampen demographic movement in Georgia.