Trump’s hand-picked candidate is beaten in Georgia primary in scathing rebuke

Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won his party’s primary against a Donald Trump-backed challenger on Tuesday, marking the former US president’s biggest defeat yet in his bid to play the role of kingmaker. ahead of the midterm elections in November.

Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams will face off again in a rematch of the 2018 race that will likely be one of the most expensive and watched in the country.

Kemp easily rebuffed a Republican primary challenge from former U.S. Senator David Perdue on Tuesday, who was backed by Trump in retaliation for Kemp not following up on Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss in Georgia. .

Perdue embraced Trump’s election lies, opening two debates between the candidates with the claim that the 2020 ballot was “rigged and stolen.” Election officials found no evidence of fraud after multiple reviews.

In defeat, he adopted a unifying tone that has become increasingly rare in a Republican Party dominated by Trump’s tough tactics.

“I want you to know tonight that I fully support Brian Kemp in his race to beat Stacey Abrams,” Perdue said. “It’s emotional for all of us, we’re disappointed, I get it. Let’s take a few hours, lick our wounds, and tomorrow morning you’re going to hear me go to work for Brian Kemp to make sure Stacey Abrams is never governor. of Georgia.”

Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams is seen. Abrams and Kemp will face off in a rematch in November. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

Republicans increasingly favored

Georgian voters were still waiting to see if Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also resisted Trump’s bid to oust him.

A total of five states voted on Tuesday, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota. But none had been more consumed than Georgia by Trump and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

The political environment has become increasingly Republican-friendly as the November election approaches. According to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll conducted on Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s approval rating fell to 36%, the lowest level of his presidency, reflecting voter concerns over rising inflation.

Republicans are favored to win a majority in the US House of Representatives in November, although analysts say Democrats have a better chance of retaining control of the Senate.

Losing either chamber would end Biden’s legislative agenda and give Republicans the power to launch distracting and potentially politically damaging investigations.

Raffensperger, who rejected a 2020 appeal by Trump to ‘find’ enough votes to change the result, faces US Representative Jody Hice, who won Trump’s endorsement and echoed his allegations of fraud, in a race that polls show is close.

Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference November 11, 2020. Raffensperger was also trying to survive a Tuesday bid from Trump to see him ousted. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

Trump has made more than 190 endorsements since leaving office, mostly for incumbent Republicans who face no serious primary opposition.

He amassed a mixed record in competitive competitions. His U.S. Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz, is in a race still too close to call a week after the vote.

But his favorite Georgia Senate candidate, Herschel Walker, easily won the Republican nomination despite warnings from Walker’s Republican competitors about his history of domestic violence and mental health issues. He will face Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock in the fall in a race that could determine control of the chamber.

Other races

Democrats were particularly focused on a runoff in the South Texas election, where longtime incumbent Representative Henry Cuellar faced a fierce challenge from progressive Jessica Cisneros in a race where abortion was an issue. major. Cuellar is the latest anti-abortion Democrat to sit in the House.

Republicans were deciding on a series of primaries featuring some of their most controversial figures.

In Alabama, incendiary conservative Rep. Mo Brooks was running to represent Republicans in the race to replace incumbent Senator Richard Shelby. Brooks, a figurehead of the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, initially won Trump’s endorsement, though Trump rescinded it after seeing Brooks struggle in the polls.

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks speaks to the media after casting his ballot in the Alabama state primary on Tuesday. (Vasha Hunt/Associated Press)

Trump’s main ally, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, won her primary election in the state’s 14th congressional district, despite a first term notable for her conspiracy theories and controversy.

And Trump’s former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who was the face of an administration that contributed to the country’s deep division, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Arkansas.

On the Georgia Democratic side, two congressional incumbents, Representatives Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux, faced off in suburban Atlanta, forced into a rare incumbent versus incumbent primary after Republicans redraw the map of Congress.