(PresidentialWire.com)- On Monday, former Georgia Republican Senator David Purdue formally announced that he has launched a primary challenge to Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
Purdue has been toying with the idea for months after former President Trump publicly encouraged the former Senator to jump into the race. His supporters believe Purdue, who lost his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in the January run-off election, is better poised to defeat Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as he is more likely to gain the support of Trump’s voters than Kemp.
Governor Kemp fell out of favor with former President Trump and his supporters after the 2020 election, with Trump accusing Kemp of “caving” to Stacey Abrams and opening the door to voter fraud in Georgia.
Democrats are thrilled with Purdue’s primary challenge, believing it is a sign of “civil war” within the Georgia Republican Party. However, primary challenges often lead to stronger general election candidates, no matter which one wins the primary.
Cody Hall, Governor Kemp’s spokesman, dismissed Purdue’s entry into the race, claiming he is only running to “soothe his bruised ego” after losing his Senate seat to Ossoff. Hall placed the blame for the Democrats taking over the Senate on Purdue, adding that now Purdue wants to hand the governor’s office to the Democrats as well.
As recently as June, David Purdue supported Brian Kemp, even introducing the governor at the state Republican Party convention. In response to Purdue’s flip-flop, Kemp said last week that he has no control over whether Purdue would be “a man of his word.”
Kemp had hoped Stacey Abrams’ announcement last week that she was running again in 2022 would fire up Republicans and rally them to his side. But then President Trump released a statement after Abrams’ announcement claiming that his supporters would never vote for Kemp.
Over the weekend, former President Trump released a statement endorsing David Purdue in his primary challenge, again asserting that Governor Kemp would not be able to defeat Stacey Abrams. In his statement, Trump once again accused Kemp of caving to Abrams before the 2020 election and blamed Kemp for the Republican losses in the Senate run-off and Trump’s loss in Georgia. Trump reiterated that his supporters in Georgia would never vote for Kemp.