Former Vice President Mike Pence has taken the opposite side from former President Trump in the hotly-contested Georgia GOP gubernatorial race, choosing to support current Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp for the May 24 primary.
Pence is scheduled to hold a rally for Kemp on May 23, The New York Post noted. Trump has backed former GOP Senator David Perdue in the race.
“Brian Kemp is one of the most successful conservative governors in America. He built a safer and stronger Georgia by cutting taxes, empowering parents and investing in teachers, funding law enforcement, and standing strong for the right to life,” Pence stated.
He added, “Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia.”
Kemp responded, “The Vice President’s leadership was instrumental in creating the most prosperous economy in American history, including here in Georgia, and his commitment to building a safer, stronger America represents the highest ideals of our party.”
This is the most robust political effort of current/former GOP elected officials to actively campaign against a Trump-desired outcome since Trump’s ‘16 run.
Pence, Ducey, Ricketts, Christie joining Georgia’s incumbent Gov. Kemp over next 10 days.
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) May 13, 2022
On Wednesday, after three prominent Republican governors endorsed Kemp, Trump — who has furiously accused Kemp of not supporting his claim that the 2020 election was stolen and even suggested that hard-Left Democrat Stacey Abrams would make a better governor— again attacked him.
He snapped, “Today, the worst ‘election integrity’ Governor in the country, Brian Kemp, loaded the great state of Georgia up with RINOs. That’s right, he had them all. Chris Christie, Doug Ducey from Arizona, and Pete Ricketts from Nebraska. That tells you all you need to know about what you are getting in Georgia — just a continuation of bad elections and a real RINO if you vote for Brian Kemp.”
Following the 2020 election, Kemp did call for a signature audit of the state’s election results. He rejected a petition from four Republican state senators wanting an emergency special session because of “systemic failures” in the election system, writing, “This is not an option under state or federal law. The statute is clear. The legislature can only direct an alternative method for choosing presidential electors if the election was not able to be held on the date set by federal law.”
Last September, Trump claimed “Kemp is a disaster. … He did everything he could to make sure we lost the election. I mean, he was terrible.”
Last month, reports revealed Trump’s Save America PAC had given $500,000 to a group running attack ads against Kemp.
After the 2018 election in which Kemp triumphed over Abrams, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Brian Kemp on becoming the new Governor of Georgia. Stacey Abrams fought brilliantly and hard — she will have a terrific political future! Brian was unrelenting and will become a great Governor for the truly Wonderful People of Georgia!”
Kemp has also been endorsed by the Republican Governors Association and the National Rifle Association. Recent polls show him garnering over 50% of the vote, meaning there would be no run-off election.