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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 6:53 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 7:01 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
Cottonwood127218
Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
Pipestone94423
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
Lincoln4841
Big Stone4573
Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
Adair68820
Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
Taylor5949
Fremont5126
Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
Ringgold4389
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2963
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