cloudy.png
Tuesday August 16th, 2022 9:05AM

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

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump faced the prospect of a stinging defeat in the Georgia governor’s race on Tuesday as Republican primary voters decided the fate of the former president’s hand-picked candidate to lead one of the most competitive political battlegrounds in the U.S.

In all, five states were voting, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota. But none had been more consumed than Georgia by Trump and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

Democrat Stacey Abrams secured the Democratic nomination for Georgia governor after running unopposed. But on the Republican side, Trump personally recruited former Sen. David Perdue to challenge incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who drew Trump's ire by refusing to accept his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Kemp emerged as a powerful fundraiser who tapped into the benefits of incumbency. In the final days of the campaign, he unveiled plans for a $5.5 billion, 8,100-job Hyundai Motor plant near Savannah.

Perdue's allies were bracing for a lopsided defeat, the only question being whether Kemp would win the 50% majority he needed 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 could raise questions about where power resides within the GOP. While Trump remains deeply popular among the party's most loyal voters, the opening stage of the midterm primary season has shown they don't always side with his picks. Other prominent Republicans, meanwhile, are growing increasingly assertive.

Trump's own vice president, Mike Pence, rallied with Kemp in the Atlanta suburbs on Monday evening.

"Elections are about the future,” he told the crowd, adding that “when you vote for Brian Kemp tomorrow, you will say yes to a future of freedom here in Georgia. You will say yes to our most cherished values at the heart of everything we hold dear.”

Trump, meanwhile, held a telephone rally for Perdue, describing him as “100% MAGA.”

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

Democrats were especially focused on a runoff election in south Texas, where longtime incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar was facing a fierce challenge from progressive Jessica Cisneros in a race where abortion was a prominent issue. Cuellar is the last anti-abortion Democrat serving in the House.

Republicans were deciding a series of lower-profile primaries.

In Arkansas, former Trump aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders was expected to claim the Republican governor's nomination. And in Alabama, conservative firebrand Rep. Mo Brooks was running to represent the GOP in the race to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby. Brooks, a leading figure at the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, initially won Trump's endorsement, although Trump rescinded it after watching Brooks struggle in the polls.

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

This year, Trump's obsession with his 2020 loss has loomed over Republican primary elections for governor, Senate and secretary of state.

Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker was poised to win Georgia's GOP Senate nomination after fending off conservative opponents who raised questions about his history of domestic violence. In the general election, Walker would face the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, who easily won his Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Leading Trump ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was also expected to win her primary election in the state's 14th congressional district, despite a first term notable for her conspiracy theories and controversy.

On the Democratic side in Georgia, two congressional incumbents, Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux, were running against each other in suburban Atlanta, forced into a rare incumbent-on-incumbent primary after Republicans re-drew 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 contest.

In the GOP primary for secretary of state, Trump has railed against GOP incumbent Brad Raffensperger, who refused to support the former president's direct calls to overturn the 2020 election. Raffensperger faces three primary challengers, including Trump-backed Rep. Jody Hice. The winner will serve as Georgia's chief election officer in the 2024 presidential election.

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

The new law also bans handing out food or water within 150 feet of a polling place, a practice common in urban areas where there are typically long voter lines.

By afternoon, no major or systemwide issue had been reported in Georgia. There were sporadic reports of polling locations opening late, minor equipment troubles and some voters finding themselves at the wrong location.

Early voting totals in Georgia suggested enormous voter interest — especially on the Republican side.

Through last Friday, 857,401 voters had cast early ballots, including 795,567 who voted early in-person, according to the secretary of state. That included 483,149 votes cast by Republicans and 368,949 by Democrats.

Those figures shattered early voting turnout in the 2020 presidential election, when a total of 254,883 Georgians voted early.

Democrats downplayed the voting disparity, noting that the state's highest-profile contests were playing out on the Republican side.

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

Meanwhile, in the Atlanta suburb of Woodstock, 19-year-old Brody Nelson said Trump’s influence in the governor’s race was a “big deal” in his decision to back Perdue.

“When Trump was in office, he did a lot for this country, and he did a great deal to help small businesses and the people who were struggling in the world compared to the rich and the powerful,” he said.

But Nathan Johnston, a 42-year-old land surveyor, said he was voting for Kemp because of his leadership during “a tough four years.”

“We didn’t stay shut down any longer than we had to and worked our way through the pandemic, and the economy is doing pretty good, so I think that reflects well on him," he said.

___

Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Jeff Martin in Woodstock, Georgia, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Online - Georgia News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump’s bid to reshape GOP faces biggest hurdles in Georgia
Donald Trump hopes to avoid embarrassment in the Georgia governor’s race on Tuesday as Republican primary voters decide the fate of his hand-picked candidate to lead one of the nation’s chief political battlegrounds
12:28AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Kemp, Perdue duel could end with Georgia's GOP primary
Georgia's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday could bring an end to the faceoff between Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue
12:25AM ( 14 minutes ago )
PEN America honors activists, artists and dissidents
From an imprisoned Ukranian journalist to a high school activist in Florida, PEN America paid tribute Monday night to democracy and free expression and warned about the dangers faced in the U.S. and abroad
12:25AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
2022 midterms: What to watch in Georgia, Texas, elsewhere
Georgia takes center stage in Tuesday’s primary elections as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger try to fight back challengers endorsed by Donald Trump
12:03AM ( 37 minutes ago )
US births rose last year but still less than before pandemic
U.S. births bumped up last year, but the number of babies born was still lower than before the coronavirus pandemic
12:01AM ( 39 minutes ago )
MLB suspends Yanks' Donaldson for 1 game for 'Jackie' remark
Major League Baseball has suspended Josh Donaldson for one game after the New York Yankees slugger made multiple references to Jackie Robinson while talking to White Sox star Tim Anderson on Saturday
11:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
EXPLAINER: What's the 4-nation Quad, where did it come from?
Leaders of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India gathered in Tokyo on Tuesday for a summit of what's known as the Quad
9:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
South Asia's intense heat wave a 'sign of things to come'
The intense heat wave sweeping through South Asia was made more likely due to climate change and is a sign of things to come
9:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
After 3 months of war, life in Russia has profoundly changed
When Vladimir Putin announced Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the war seemed far away from Russian territory
8:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Pence push for Kemp caps end of Georgia primary campaign
Former Vice President Mike Pence has made an in-person push for Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp
7:55PM ( 4 hours ago )
Biden: US would intervene with military to defend Taiwan
President Joe Biden says the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan
6:55PM ( 5 hours ago )
Harris, surgeon general warn of health care worker burnout
Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are warning of burnout among the nation’s health care staff after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic
5:49PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UK's Boris Johnson awaits judgment of 'partygate' report
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been shadowed by career-threatening scandal for months — but so far has escaped unscathed
2:47PM ( 9 hours ago )
Tough GOP race for Shelby seat in Alabama closes with flurry
Republican Senate hopefuls in Alabama are making last-minute pitches to primary voters in the tight race for the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Shelby
2:30PM ( 10 hours ago )
Yellen's global tax plan meets resistance abroad and at home
Last July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen celebrated it as a “historic day” when more than 100 nations agreed to a global minimum tax deal meant to reform and equalize the world’s economy
2:10PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Arkansas governor is odd man out in his own state's primary
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is Arkansas' top Republican and is entering the final stretch of his term with strong approval ratings
10:57AM ( 1 day ago )
GOP candidate's security clearance becomes issue in SC
Republican Katie Arrington’s suspended security clearance is becoming an issue in her primary campaign against incumbent South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace
8:27AM ( 1 day ago )
Bangkok votes for governor in 1st election since 2014 coup
Voters in the Thai capital are electing a new governor in a contest delayed by a military coup that still reflects a divided country with main candidates either supported by the conservative establishment or the liberal opposition
5:45AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Oz, McCormick prepare for recount in Pa. GOP Senate race
Celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick have begun staffing up their campaigns with recount specialists as vote counting entered a fourth day in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat
4:32PM ( 3 days ago )
Ginni Thomas' emails deepen her involvement in 2020 election
Newly discovered emails show that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was more deeply involved in baseless efforts to overturn the 2020 election than previously known
4:02PM ( 3 days ago )
US lawmakers urge binding vote on Puerto Rico status
A group of mostly Democratic congress members is proposing a binding plebiscite to decide whether Puerto Rico should become a state or gain some sort of independence
2:53PM ( 3 days ago )
General Election News
Biden has an eye on China as he heads to South Korea, Japan
President Joe Biden is off to South Korea and Japan on a six-day trip aimed at building rapport with the Asian nations’ leaders
2:29PM ( 4 days ago )
Testimony: Clinton team did not approve lawyer's FBI meeting
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did not authorize a lawyer to meet with the FBI and provide information that was meant to cast suspicions on rival candidate Donald Trump and possible connections to Russia
5:32PM ( 5 days ago )
Midterm updates | Idaho attorney general loses GOP primary
Former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has won Idaho’s Republican attorney general primary, beating a longtime incumbent who'd been criticized by the far right for not taking a more activist role
11:14AM ( 5 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Kemp, Perdue duel could end with Georgia's GOP primary
Georgia's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday could bring an end to the faceoff between Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue
12:25AM ( 14 minutes ago )
AP-NORC poll: Economy grows as priority on Russia response
Americans are becoming less supportive of punishing Russia for launching its invasion of Ukraine if it comes at the expense of the U.S. economy, a sign of rising anxiety over inflation and other challenges
12:24AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Russian soldier gets life for killing Ukrainian civilian
A Ukrainian court sentenced a captured Russian soldier to the maximum penalty of life in prison for killing a civilian, and the Kremlin hinted that it may put on trial some of the fighters who surrendered at Mariupol’s steelworks
12:23AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger faces Trump ally
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger drew the wrath of former President Donald Trump when he refused to try to overturn Trump's loss to Democratic challenger Joe Biden in 2020
12:23AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Greene seat, 2 Democratic primaries among top US House races
One of the last remaining anti-abortion Democrats in Congress faces the political fight of his life in Texas
12:17AM ( 22 minutes ago )