President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the state’s Republican race for governor.
“Brian Kemp is running for Governor of the great state of Georgia. The Primary is on Tuesday,” President Trump tweeted. “Brian is tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration. He loves our Military and our Vets and protects our Second Amendment. I give him my full and total endorsement.”
Brian Kemp is running for Governor of the great state of Georgia. The Primary is on Tuesday. Brian is tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration. He loves our Military and our Vets and protects our Second Amendment. I give him my full and total endorsement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
Failing to score the highly-coveted Trump endorsement is a major set back for Kemp’s opponent Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who — according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll published on Friday — is behind the Georgia Secretary of State by three percentage points.
A piece published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights the significance of President Trump’s endorsement:
Both candidates have played up their loyalty to Trump, and the AJC poll showed he is a significant factor in the race: About one-fifth of likely Republican runoff voters said their main reason for casting a ballot was to support the stronger ally to Trump.
Trump’s endorsement is the latest test of his political clout in Georgia. He backed Republican Karen Handel’s campaign for Georgia’s 6th District U.S. House seat last year shortly after she won the GOP nod. But he hasn’t waded into a contested GOP race in Georgia until now.
Some of his most fervent supporters quickly signaled they would follow his lead. Bruce Levell, a Dunwoody jeweler who chaired Trump’s diversity coalition, had a quick answer when asked who he would vote for next week. “I support President Trump’s decision 100 percent unconditionally.”
In a June interview on SiriusXM Patriot 125 with Breitbart News Political Editor Matt Boyle, Kemp declared himself as a “no special interests” candidate, who staunchly supports President Trump and his border wall. “I think that’s what people are looking for — they want somebody that’s going to put them first ahead of the special interests, the status quo, the politically correct and those who are here illegally,” the Georgia official told Boyle.
Akin to President Trump, Kemp said he wants to use his private sector experience to help the “hardworking” people of Georgia with tax cuts and introducing free-market health care solutions.
The winner of the race will face off in November against Stacey Abrams, former Democratic house minority leader for the Georgia General Assembly.