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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Trump’s bid to reshape the GOP faces the biggest hurdles in Georgia

ATLANTA ( Associated Press) — DONALD TRUMP Georgia’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday is expected to avoid a stiff defeat as Republican primary voters decide the fate of the former president’s hand-picked candidate to lead one of the most competitive political battlefields in America. Huh.

In total, five states are voting, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota. But no one has swallowed Trump and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen compared to Georgia.

After the current GOP government Brian Kemp refused to accept Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, he sought retribution by personally recruiting former Republican Sen. David Perdue. A primary challenge to mount. But it could prove to be a bad bet as Kemp has emerged as a powerful fundraiser who has harnessed the benefits of power. In the final days of the campaign he unveiled The $5.5 billion, 8,100-job Hyundai Motor Plant near Savannah.

On the eve of the election, Perdue’s allies were set for a unilateral defeat, the only question being whether Kemp would win a 50% majority to avoid a runoff election next month.

“We’re not going to have a runoff,” said Matha Zoller, a longtime Republican activist and northeast Georgia talk show host with ties to both Trump and Perdue. “It’s going to be embarrassing.”

The results may raise questions about where power resides within the GOP. While Trump remains deeply popular among the party’s most loyal voters, the early phase of the midterm primary season have shown that they do not always favor his choice. Meanwhile, other prominent Republicans are becoming increasingly vocal.

In a clear example of division among top Republicans, Trump’s own vice president Mike Pence rallies with Kemp on Monday evening in the Atlanta suburbs.

“Elections are about the future,” he told the crowd, “when you vote for Brian Kemp tomorrow, you will say yes to the future of freedom in Georgia. You will say yes to the most cherished values ​​we hold dear. “

Perdue, for its part, ended the day by saying Stacy AbramsoWho is black and is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for governor, she was “degrading her own race.”

Republicans have intensified criticism of Abrams as she told a Democratic dinner Saturday that “I’m tired of hearing about the country being the best state to do business when we are the worst state to live in the country.” ” Abrams has said that his remarks were meant to address Georgia’s dismal rankings for mental health access and maternal mortality.

But in an interview Monday with conservative radio host John Fredericks and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, Perdue went further. He compared the comment to Abrams’ comment in 2018, arguing that “people should not go into agriculture or hospitality to live in Georgia.” She insisted that she was referring to black farmers.

“When he told black farmers, you don’t have to be on the farm, and when he told black workers in hospitality and all that…

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats elsewhere are grappling with ideological and strategic divisions that will determine what kind of candidates to nominate and which issues to prioritize for November’s general election.

Democrats were particularly focused on a runoff election in South Texas., where longtime incumbent Representative Henry Kueller faces a fierce challenge from progressive Jessica Cisneros in a race where abortion is a major issue. Cuellar is the last anti-abortion Democrat serving in the House.

Republicans will also decide on a series of low-profile primaries.

In Arkansas, former Trump aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to claim the Republican gubernatorial nomination. And in Alabama, conservative firebrand Rep. Mo Brooks is running to represent the GOP in the race to replace retired Sen. Richard Shelby. Brooks, a key figure at the January 6 “Stop the Steel” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, initially won Trump’s endorsement, though Trump rebuffed it after seeing Brooks struggle in the polls.

No state has more consequential elections this week than Georgia, a longtime Republican stronghold that has moved Democratic in recent elections. Biden defeated Trump in Georgia in 2020 by a total of less than 12,000 votes, and Democrats narrowly won both Senate seats two months later.

This year, Trump’s obsession with his 2020 losses fueled the Republican primary elections for governor, Senate and secretary of state.

Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker is set to win Georgia’s GOP Senate nomination after brushing off conservative opponents who raised questions about his history of domestic violence. Walker will face the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, this fall.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Green, a key Trump ally It is also expected to win its primary election in the state’s 14th congressional district, despite a first term beset by conspiracy theories and controversies.

On the Democratic side in Georgia, two congressional functionaries, Reps. Lucy MacBath and Caroline Bordeaux, running against each other. In suburban Atlanta, a rare incumbent was forced into primaries after Republicans redrawn the congressional map.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Republican primary for governor—and the GOP’s secretary of state contest—will have a direct impact on Georgia’s election system for the 2024 presidential election.

In a show of anti-Trump defiance, Republican governors of Arizona, Nebraska and Maryland stood behind Kemp, who refused to support Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election in Georgia and other swing states had been stolen.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan suggested that Kemp’s victory would send a clear message to Trump.

Hogan told the Associated Press, “When Brian Kemp wins Tuesday, he will prove that voters want their leaders to focus on everyday issues like high gas prices and rising crime, and not on the small-scale of another politician.” On big complaints.”

In the GOP primary for secretary of state, Trump railed against GOP incumbent Brad Riffensper, who refused to support the former president’s direct calls to reverse the 2020 election. Riffensperger faces three primary challenges, including those from Trump-backed Representative Jody Haise. The winner will serve as Georgia’s chief electoral officer in the 2024 presidential election.

Tuesday was the first election under new voting laws adopted by the Republican-backed state legislature in response to Trump’s unfounded complaints. The law made it harder to vote by mail, which was popular among Democrats in 2020 amid the pandemic; introduced new voter identification requirements, which critics warned could disenfranchise black voters; and expanded early voting to rural areas that typically vote Republican.

The new law also prohibits the practice of providing food or water within 150 feet of a polling place, a practice common in urban areas where there are usually long voter lines.

Early voting totals in Georgia suggest heavy voter enthusiasm – especially on the Republican side.

According to the secretary of state, as of the end of Friday, 857,401 voters had cast early voting, including 795,567 who voted early in person. This includes 483,149 votes cast by Republicans and 368,949 votes cast by Democrats.

That figure shattered early voting in the 2020 presidential election, when a total of 254,883 Georgians voted early.

Democrats underestimated voting inequality, noting that the state’s highest-profile contests were playing on behalf of Republicans.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison said, “While Democrats are uniting behind our candidates, Republicans are in chaos as they pursue an extreme agenda and try to outdo each other as the most MAGA candidate. Huh.”


People reported from Washington.

World Nation News Desk
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