(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Former President Donald Trump’s impressive primary-endorsement record, sitting at 96% wins earlier this month, took a hit in Georgia on Tuesday night, when two of Trump’s strongly preferred candidates suffered significant defeats.
Gov. Brian Kemp easily outpaced former Sen. David Perdue, who Trump had recruited to run and promoted heavily, while Trump nemesis and squishy election integrity advocate Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger appeared on track to avoid a run-off against Trump-backed challenger Rep. Jody Hice.
Trump had repeatedly blasted both Raffensperger and Kemp for not vigorously challenging vote fraud in the 2020 election.
While Trump had a reasonably righteous axe to grind against Raffy, Kemp was legally hamstrung from intervening and has since delivered on a variety of conservative fronts for Georgia, from rightfully re-opening the state during the waning pandemic to backing a popular carry-conceal law.
Perdue, who never led during the primary run-up and was out-fundraised by a wide margin, struck a unifying tone after his defeat.
“Everything I said about Brian Kemp was true, but here’s the other thing I said that’s true: He is a much better choice than Stacey Abrams and so we are going to get behind our governor,” Perdue said, CNN reported.
“Let’s take a few hours, lick our wounds, and tomorrow morning, you are going to hear me going to work for Brian Kemp and making damn sure that Stacey Abrams is never governor of Georgia.”
Kemp echoed that sentiment, saying that “the fight for the soul of our state is to make sure that Stacey Abrams will not be our next governor or next president.”
The governor made no reference to Trump during his victory speech, allowing only that, “even in the middle of a tough primary, conservatives across our state didn’t listen to the noise.”
“What a long distance you’ve come, right? What a long distance,” Trump said in a call to Walker Tuesday night.
“And I’m only going to be more proud of you after November.”
Trump calls into the Herschel Walker victory party pic.twitter.com/8oWclHCkUc
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 25, 2022
A Trump endorsement also carried weight in Texas, where Attorney General Ken Paxton beat Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, scion of the Bush political posse, in a Republican run-off after Paxton finished first in a March 1 primary but didn’t gain a majority vote.
Despite ongoing investigations of securities fraud allegations, along with lingering FBI scrutiny over bribery allegations, Paxton, who has denied the allegations, has consistently delivered a conservative agenda for Texas, while remaining a close Trump ally.
Paxton filed a lawsuit to try to overturn the questionable results of the 2020 presidential tilt, and he spoke at the wholly peaceful J6 Trump rally that preceded the Capitol tumult.
As Texas attorney general, Paxton backed stronger election integrity laws and investigating abusive parents who harm children with puberty blockers and dangerous “gender reassignment” surgeries. He also has successfully challenged the Biden administration’s misguided policies on everything from mask and vaccine mandates to open borders.
Paxton downplayed his impressive win Tuesday, choosing instead to concentrate on the mass shooting tragedy in Texas, reported Houston Public Media.
“We’re going down there [to Uvalde] tomorrow,” Paxton said in his election night speech.
“We’re going to do our job tomorrow. We’re going to try to help these people.”