Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Wins GOP Primary Over Trump Pick Perdue

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp drove to victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary, easily defeating Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue.

With 23% of the wards reporting when the race was called, Kemp held 73.1% of the vote while Perdue had just 22.3%%. Longshots Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor and Tom Williams shared the remaining votes.

Perdue told supporters he called Kemp to back down and “fully supports” the incumbent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“In the morning you’re going to hear me going to work to go to work to friggin’ make sure Stacey Abrams doesn’t become Georgia’s next governor,” he said.

Kemp will face Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in November’s second straight gubernatorial election. Kemp defeated Abrams in 2018 and this time has a consistent lead over the Democrat.

Tuesday’s election was marked by a massive turnout during Georgia’s early parliamentary term, with the Secretary of State’s office tallying 483,149 Republican preliminary votes and 368,949 Democratic preliminary votes as of Friday.

The impressive early voting numbers come a year after the state came under fire for passing an electoral reform bill that President Biden dubbed “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

That’s a huge increase from the 2018 midterms, which saw nearly 300,000 early in-person votes.

The law, passed in March 2021, introduced new rules for absentee voting – including requiring photo ID and reducing the window for absentee voting.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
Kemp will face Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in November’s second straight gubernatorial election.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Georgia also saw an increase in absentee voting in the primary, with at least 29,220 Republicans voting absent compared to 14,795 in 2018, while 31,704 Democrats voted absent this year compared to 12,051 in the last midterm election.

The result was the harshest rebuke yet of a candidate backed by the 45th President, who saw one of his backed candidates lose in a primary for the fourth time this year. Three of those defeats occurred in the governor’s races.

Trump championed Kemp during the governor’s successful 2018 tenure, but the relationship soured after the 2020 election. The ex-president has repeatedly blasted Kemp for failing to overturn Georgia’s election results, and refers to him as both “weak” and “RINO,” an acronym for Republican in Name Only.

David Perdue
David Perdue speaks in Rutledge, Georgia earlier this month.
AP Photo/John Bazemore, file

Trump endorsed Perdue in December and made a brief appearance Monday at a tele-rally for the former senator.

During his eight-minute appearance, Trump reportedly slammed Kemp, saying he “did the worst job of any governor in probably decades.”

Despite the former president’s repeated criticism, Kemp garnered support from several other senior Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former President George W. Bush.

Former Vice President Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence has backed Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

“Brian Kemp is, frankly, one of the most successful Republican governors in America,” Pence said Monday night before a rally at Kennesaw’s Cobb County Airport.

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Perdue in December.
Kenneth Ferriera/Lincoln Journal Star via AP

Later in his remarks, the former Veep took an implied dig at Trump’s 2020 election obsession, urging Georgia Republicans to support Kemp and “send a deafening message across America that the Republican Party is the party of the future.” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Wins GOP Primary Over Trump Pick Perdue


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