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The duel between Kemp and Perdue could end with the GOP primary in Georgia

ATLANTA – Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday could end the duel between Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former US Senator David Perdue, while Stacey Abrams is crowned the Democratic Party nominee after running unopposed.

More than 850,000 Georgians cast their ballots during the week-long early in-person voting. New voting rules passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year made mail-in ballots and ballot boxes — forms of voting popular during the 2020 election amid the coronavirus pandemic — a less attractive option, and they are in this one year collapsed.

With three other candidates in the Republican race, it’s possible that neither Kemp nor Perdue will win a majority, requiring a June 21 runoff. Such a scenario could leave the winner with empty pockets. However, polls have shown that Kemp has widened his lead in recent weeks, raising the possibility that the nomination could be decided on Tuesday.

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Abrams is awaiting the winner in a November contest that is likely to be one of the nation’s most expensive and high-profile. In 2018, she narrowly lost the governorship to Kemp.

Perdue was personally courted by former President Donald Trump to run in retaliation for Kemp disagreeing with Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 Georgia loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Perdue embraced Trump’s election lies, opening two debates between the candidates by claiming the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen.” Election officials found no evidence of fraud after multiple checks.

Trump held a personal rally for Perdue, sent more than $3 million to two political action committees to pay for ads attacking Kemp on electoral issues, and maintained a steady stream of rhetorical fire against the incumbent. But Trump hasn’t returned to Georgia since March, and Perdue’s ads have disappeared from Georgia TV networks for much of the crucial early voting phase.

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Kemp used the power of his tenure to push a series of bills through the legislature, signing measures that reduced taxes, allowed people to carry concealed handguns without a license, and the state athletic federation, transgender girls off high school athletics rule out.

The governor also used generous coffers to grant pay rises and polished his record of economic development by announcing two large electric vehicle factories.

Republicans sided with Kemp: He was backed by powerful GOP figures such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

Perdue fought for dues, hitting Kemp for crimes and for luring the Rivian Automotive plant to an area east of Atlanta, despite objections from many residents.

Abrams has been running for months, trying to boost her image among Georgia voters with more than $7 million in advertising, despite the lack of primary opposition.

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At the heart of her platform remains a call to expand Medicaid to all adults, but Abrams also emphasizes her support for abortion rights and her opposition to a law allowing the illicit carrying of concealed handguns in public. The Democrat star has shown he can raise millions. Meanwhile, Republicans have raised the specter of her nomination as governor to try to unify a party fractured by Trump’s attempts to unseat Kemp.

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Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/05/24/kemp-perdue-duel-could-end-with-georgias-gop-primary/ The duel between Kemp and Perdue could end with the GOP primary in Georgia

Sarah Y. Kim

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