Donald Trump Causes Chaos in Georgia's Governor's Race

Bryan Dijkhuizen

After being outraged by how Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reacted to the 2020 election results in his state, the former President might get his desire for a viable primary opponent to Republican Party leader Donald Trump in the coming months.

The Governor of Georgia will be elected at the 2022 Georgia gubernatorial election, which will take place on November 8, 2022.

In the wake of Perdue loyalists floating the idea of running against Kemp in next year's primary, Republicans in the state have told CNN that they anticipate the former senator to decide shortly about running against Kemp.

The erroneous claim by Trump that the election was stolen, with the close win for Joe Biden in Georgia as a crucial component of the story, is at the heart of the possible dispute.

Although Kemp requested an audit, which revealed no significant change in the aggregate vote total, Trump continues to criticize the governor for not fighting the results aggressively enough and has promised to support a primary opponent in the next primaries.

So yet, no one of consequence has arisen to challenge Kemp and win Trump's support for their campaign.

A Perdue run for governor has the potential to alter that.

"I would hate to see two good men run against each other," said Eric Tanenblatt, a veteran GOP strategist and former chief of staff to former Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. "Having watched the Republican Party become the dominant party in Georgia, it's puzzling to me we would see another Republican challenge a sitting incumbent Republican governor."

Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter, an ardent backer of Trump in the United States House of Representatives, told CNN that he supports Kemp for governor and would continue to do so on Tuesday.

"I hope that he won't run," said Carter. "I hope that we'll have just one candidate that we can unify behind."

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Trump has directed his ire specifically at Republicans in Georgia whom he considers disloyal.

According to the President, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, took the brunt of Trump's rage over his state's narrow election defeat by less than 12,000 votes.

In a phone conversation with Raffensperger on January 2, Trump requested that the secretary of state find enough votes for Trump to make up the gap.

Raffensperger is now up against a problematic primary opponent in Rep. Jody Hice, who has received Trump's endorsement.

Trump made a similar request to Kemp in a phone conversation in December 2020, urging the Georgia governor to assemble state lawmakers to pick pro-Trump electors for the next presidential election.

In December, President Donald Trump openly suggested that departing Representative Doug Collins may run for governor. Collins, who had campaigned unsuccessfully for the Senate in a special election last year, said in April that he would not be competing for any position in the next election cycle.

In fact, at a rally in Georgia in September, Trump said that he would prefer if Abrams, who is considering a re-election bid for governor next year, were in charge instead of Kemp.

Party officials were entirely surprised by the statement, but they did not respond by rebuking the former President or rallying to Kemp's cause.

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