Trump endorses candidate in GA governor's primary

President Donald Trump has endorsed Brian Kemp for Georgia governor, a self-proclaimed "politically incorrect" candidate who has aligned himself closely with the President.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 7:50 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 8:01 PM

Republican voters in Georgia responded to a vicious primary runoff by showing thunderous support for Trump-backed candidate Brian Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, won a resounding victory Tuesday after a bruising nine-week showdown filled with secret recordings, outrageous ads and nasty name-calling.

Needless to say, Southern gentility was gone with the wind in this race.

Critics say the brutal runoff took its toll on the GOP and showed division among the ranks. Republicans in my home state say nothing could be further from the truth. Georgia GOP Chairman John Watson tells me Tuesday's victory shows there's "no lack of clarity" and certainly "helps in the healing."

After declaring victory, Kemp wasted no time setting his sights on his Democrat opponent, Stacey Abrams, whom he referred to as an "out-of-touch, radical liberal." Abrams will be a formidable candidate, with national money and manpower, running to be the first black female governor in America. I'm told the GOP has a solid ground game in place but is not taking anything for granted.

Cagle, endorsed by Gov. Nathan Deal, began the race as the heir apparent. Dominating in the polls, he had high name recognition and tremendous financial backing. Things started going south when he was secretly recorded discussing his political motivations for backing "bad public policy" and describing the GOP primary as a race to be "the craziest" candidate with "the biggest gun" and "the biggest truck."

President Donald Trump put his finger on the scales for Kemp over the weekend when he tweeted Kemp has his "full endorsement" and "He will be a GREAT governor!"

On the campaign trail, Kemp touted himself as the "politically incorrect conservative" who won over voters with ads featuring guns, chain saws and a pickup truck to "round up criminal illegals."

Cagle started out strong, but his support proved to be a mile wide and an inch deep. In April, he had a 31-point lead in the polls, yet he lost by a wide margin. Kemp peaked at just the right time.

When I was growing up in the Peach State, Democrats were always the party in power, and had been since Reconstruction. The shift came in 2002 when Republicans began to take control.

Georgia is a right-of-center state, and I don't see that changing in this year's midterms. Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points in 2016, and if the economy is strong in November, that bodes well for Kemp.

As Republicans celebrate the Kemp victory, they're hoping for a quick end to one outrage. Republican state Rep. Jason Spencer had to resign after making a disgrace of himself in Sunday night's episode of the Showtime series "Who Is America?" when he dropped his pants and repeatedly used the N-word. The show's producers pranked Spencer into believing he was taking part in an anti-terrorism class. The video is beyond disturbing.

Republicans across the state said they were disgusted by the performance, and House Speaker David Ralston called for Spencer's resignation.

Watson, the state GOP chairman, tells me Republicans will come together in a unity rally Thursday to embrace Kemp as the nominee. He said he's not concerned about the divisive primary's impact on the party's chances in the general election because he "would rather have a battle-tested candidate over one who had a cakewalk any day."

I agree. Fierce primaries create fierce general candidates. But one thing's for sure, the stage has been set for a historic showdown in Georgia in the fall.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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