Breaking Business Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Beats David Perdue In Latest Loss For A Trump-Backed Primary Challenger Nicholas Reimann Forbes Staff I cover national politics, with a focus on Donald Trump. Zachary Snowdon Smith Forbes Staff I cover breaking news for Forbes.
May 24, 2022, 08:38pm EDT | Updated May 24, 2022, 09:03pm EDT Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Topline Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination for his state’s gubernatorial race, defeating Trump-endorsed former Sen. David Perdue, according to the Associated Press—dealing a blow to the endorsement power of former President Donald Trump, who viewed Kemp as one of his top Republican targets to knock off in the midterm primaries.
Then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp attends an Election Night event at the Classic . . .
[+] Center on November 6, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images Key Facts The AP called the race for Kemp at 8:30 p.
m. Eastern time, with an estimated 23% of the vote counted. Kemp led decisively with 73% of votes, with Perdue trailing with just 22.
3% and other candidates combining for 3. 6%. Kemp will face Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in the November general election—a rematch of the 2018 gubernatorial election, which he narrowly won.
In a concession speech Tuesday, Perdue urged his supporters to rally behind Kemp in the general election in order to defeat Abrams, so that the “woke mob” would not “take over” (Perdue conceded more promptly than in 2021, when he waited until three days after Georgia’s Senate elections to formally concede to Democrat Jon Ossoff). Key Background Kemp has faced Trump’s wrath for the past 18 months, after his refusal to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in Georgia infuriated the ex-president. Trump repeatedly attacked Kemp, perhaps more than any other GOP incumbent in the 2022 midterms, but the effort failed to connect with a Republican base that largely approved of the governor.
Trump worked to clear the field for Perdue , convincing former state Rep. Vernon Jones (R) to instead run for a House seat, setting up what was expected to be a scorched-earth primary between two Republican heavyweights. But that never materialized, with Kemp widening an initially thin lead in polling to a clear double-digit advantage in the weeks leading up to the election.
Perdue’s campaign also lagged seriously behind Kemp’s in financing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier this month that Perdue only had about $900,000 in cash on hand, while Kemp had more than $10 million. Tangent Perdue’s loss is the most significant yet for Trump in the midterm primaries, given how strongly he wanted to oust Kemp.
The former president claims he’s had a very successful endorsement record so far, but results in high-profile races have been mixed. Trump can boast of wins in contests like the Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial primary , Ohio Republican Senate primary and North Carolina Republican Senate primary , but Perdue’s defeat adds to a growing list of losses for Trump-backed candidates, like Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.
C. ) and Idaho Lt. Gov.
Janice McGeachin (R), who challenged incumbent Gov. Brad Little (R). Further Reading Vernon Jones Dropping From Georgia Governor’s Race After Reported Pressure From Trump (Forbes) Trump Investigation Heats Up In Georgia As DA Convenes Grand Jury—Here’s What Happens Next (Forbes) Trump-Chosen Perdue Enters Georgia Race—And The War Of Words Begins (Forbes) Nicholas Reimann Zachary Snowdon Smith Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions.