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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Takeaway: Trump’s Big Primary Defeat; scams for the win

Former President Donald Trump’s crusade for vengeance suffered a devastating blow on Tuesday after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won his primary despite rejecting Trump’s insistence on reversing his 2020 election defeat in the state. This is a complication to the former president’s hopes of returning to the White House in 2024.

Voters also demonstrated openness to embrace scam-ridden candidates – depending on the candidate and the scam.

Here are excerpts from Tuesday’s primary elections in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota:

Trump’s biggest primary defeat

Trump had hoped to turn Georgia Governor Brian Kemp into an example of danger in challenging him. Instead, Kemp on Tuesday became an example of how Republican office-bearers may not fear Trump as much as the former president would like.

Kemp surpassed former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the Republican primary, easily crossing the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff. The victory came a year and a half after Kemp rejected Trump’s demands to help reverse the presidential election, declaring Trump the winner in Georgia instead of Joe Biden, who had actually won.

Despite the former president’s efforts, Kemp comfortably led the election and fundraising throughout the primary campaign. Republican institutions also swung into action to protect Kemp. He earned the support of Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, who appeared with him at a Georgia rally on the eve of the primary. The Republican Governors Association paid for ads supporting him. High-profile Republican governors including former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey campaigned alongside him.

Perdue’s campaign settled on Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, but Kemp won by diluting the power of his office. To rally the base, he signed laws allowing most Georgians to carry guns without a permit and banning most abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected – something that occurs in six pregnancies. Could be up to a week. He also announced investment by Hyundai in a new plant in the state to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

Now Kemp will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch of the 2018 gubernatorial conflict. Unlike Trump in 2020, Perdue admitted its defeat on Tuesday night, even as it seemed to alienate some supporters who suggested fraud.

“I’m sorry, but what we’re going to do now is make sure Stacey Abrams is not the governor of this state,” Perdue said.

threat of election denial

The Georgia governor’s race wasn’t the only Trump grudge match that turned the former president upside down. He was also falling short of his goal of ousting Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger, who personally dismissed his calls to “find” enough votes to declare Trump the winner of Georgia.

Trump recruited U.S. Representative Jody Haise from a secure congressional seat to challenge Raffensperger in the Republican primary. But although it was too early to call the race, Rauffensperger was well ahead of Hiss on Tuesday, and the main question was whether he would earn more than 50% of the vote and avoid a runoff.

Either way, it’s clear that the former president’s harp on 2020 didn’t speak to Republican voters in Georgia, the nation’s newest battlefield.

Brendan Buck, a former spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, tweeted Tuesday, “Underscores one of Georgia Trump’s big problems when he runs again.” “Of course, he won’t let the 2020 bullshit go, and no one wants to hear his cries about it.”

Trump has scored a few primary victories with election detractors — most notably in Pennsylvania last week, when Republican voters picked their favorite gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who said he favored Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. would not have been certified. Will win more in the coming weeks.

But many Republicans have made it clear they are eyeing a 2024 presidential bid, including Pence and Florida Gov. And he has distanced himself from Trump’s election allegations in big and small ways. Elections are usually about the future, and by the time the 2024 GOP primary rolls around, November 2020 will be ancient history.

diminishing power of scam

Trump had some victories on Tuesday. They brought the goods, but that didn’t stop them.

Former football great Herschelle Walker, Trump’s pick for the US Senate in Georgia, dominated Republican challengers in his primary. Party leaders were the first to shun him because of his checkered history.

Walker has admitted to battling mental illness in his autobiography. His ex-wife said that during their marriage he pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill her. He later obtained a restraining order against him after he allegedly threatened her with dating other men. He claimed to have set up a chicken processing company employing hundreds of people, but reported only eight workers when applying for loans during the coronavirus pandemic. He lied about setting up a charity to help veterans get help with mental health — he’s actually paid $300,000 to work as a spokesperson for a for-profit company, which others was established to recruit veterans for mental health care.

Eventually Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell also hailed Walker as the party’s best chance to oust Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. The bet is that voters in post-Trump America won’t care as much about scandals.

That theory certainly got a boost Tuesday in Texas, too. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton was indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015 and is still awaiting trial. He is under investigation by the FBI and the State Bar of Texas for his role in trying to reverse the 2020 presidential election. Yet he easily met Land Commissioner George P. Bush, for example, by investigating the parents of transgender children, driven by his ability to use his office to further conservative causes.

Back in Georgia, Firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene won her Republican primary, shrugging off challengers who complained that Green was giving the party a bad name by engaging in Holocaust denial and other headline-grabbing, bombastic behavior. Unlike Madison Cawthorne, a provocative congressman who lost her GOP primary in North Carolina last week, Greene hasn’t changed districts, a long string of personal scandals or accusing Washington Republicans of participating in the orgy. .

Trump set the model in 2016, and his followers are fulfilling it – never let scandal get in the way of winning an election.

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For full midterm coverage, follow the Associated Press at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

World Nation News Desk
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