Friday, February 3, 2023
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Kemp Favored over Underdog Perdue in Ga. Race to Face Stacey Abrams

'Kemp has been a very weak Governor—the liberals and RINOs have run all over him on Election Integrity, and more...'

(Headline USA) Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday could spell an end to the faceoff between Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, while Stacey Abrams will be crowned the Democratic Party’s nominee after running unopposed.

More than 850,000 Georgians cast ballots during weeks of early in-person voting, despite new election rules passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last year that sought to rein in abuse via mail-in absentee ballots and ballot drop boxes.

With three other candidates in the Republican race, it’s possible that neither Kemp nor Perdue will win a majority, requiring a June 21 runoff.

Such a scenario could leave the winner with empty pockets. However, polling has shown Kemp extending his lead in recent weeks, raising the possibility that the nomination could be settled Tuesday.

Abrams will be waiting for the winner in a November contest that is likely to be one of the nation’s most expensive and high-profile. She narrowly lost the governorship to Kemp in 2018 and catapaulted into notoriety afterward for her refusal to concede—blaming, without evidence, that the election was rigged against her.

Perdue was personally courted by former President Donald Trump to enter the race after Kemp refused to intervene in the 2020 election, where Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger helped Abrams and other Democrats to facilitate vote fraud by loosening up the state’s election standards and allowing the influx of millions of dollars in defacto Democrat donations by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Since then, Raffensperger has acknowledged the presence of vote fraud and opened an investigation into illegal ballot harvesting based on data provided to him by the election-integrity watchdog True the Vote.

Kemp’s only course of action in the immediate aftermath of the election would have been to call a special legislative session to investigate the vote fraud, a highly irregular step that risked further undermining confidence in the outcome amid deep partisan divisions—and ultimately would not have delivered the election to Trump on its own.

However, Kemp was instrumental in last year’s fight to close election-law loopholes by signing into law a package of reforms in the face of extreme pressure from woke corporations and others who threatened boycotts.

Trump has nonetheless maintained his criticism. “Kemp has been a very weak Governor—the liberals and RINOs have run all over him on Election Integrity, and more,” the former president wrote in an endorsement of Perdue on Tuesday from his Save America PAC. “Most importantly, he can’t win because the MAGA base—which is enormous—will never vote for him.”

Trump conducted an in-person rally for Perdue, sent more than $3 million to two political action committees to pay for ads attacking Kemp on election issues, and kept up a steady stream of rhetorical fire against the incumbent.

But Trump has not returned to Georgia since March, and Perdue’s ads have been missing from Georgia television stations for much of the crucial early-voting period.

Kemp used the power of his incumbency to push a raft of bills through the legislature, signing measures that cut taxes, allowed people to carry concealed handguns without permits and let the state athletic association ban transgender girls from high school sports.

The governor also used bountiful state coffers to give pay raises and burnished his economic development record by announcing two large electric-vehicle factories—although the company Rivian Automotive has been accused of having ties to billionaire oligarch George Soros.

In spite of—or perhaps because of—Trump’s support, several Establishment Republicans have rallied to Kemp’s side: He was endorsed by powerful GOP figures including former Vice President Mike Pence and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

Top RINO luminaries such as former President George W. Bush, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey all made campaign appearances with Kemp.

Perdue scrambled for contributions, hitting Kemp on crime and for luring the Rivian plant to an area east of Atlanta over the objections of many residents.

Abrams has been running for months, seeking to burnish her image among Georgia voters with more than $7 million in dark-money advertising, despite the lack of primary opposition.

The centerpiece of her platform remains a call to expand Medicaid to all adults, but Abrams is also highlighting her support for abortion and opposition to a law allowing the constitutional carry of concealed handguns in public without a permit.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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