Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks at a news conference throughout the primary election in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. May 24, 2022.
Dustin Chambers | Reuters
Stacey Abrams will win the Democratic primary election for governor in Georgia, while the Republican gubernatorial primary was too early to call when polls closed Tuesday evening, NBC News projected.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp was favored in polls to defeat David Perdue, the previous U.S. senator backed by ex-President Donald Trump.
The GOP candidate who advances to the overall election will face Abrams, the progressive Democrat who narrowly lost to Kemp within the 2018 gubernatorial contest.
If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the 2 frontrunners will compete in a runoff election in late June.
Kemp earned Trump’s ire by certifying President Joe Biden’s win over Trump in Georgia within the 2020 election, making Biden the primary Democratic presidential candidate in many years to win the state. Trump has falsely claimed that that race and others were rigged against him through widespread voter fraud. He pushed Kemp to take steps to overturn Georgia’s election results, however the governor refused.
Trump also endorsed Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga, who mounted a primary challenge against Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, one other of Trump’s perceived enemies. Raffensperger rebuffed Trump’s request to “find” enough votes in Georgia for him to win in 2020.
Each Perdue and Hice have echoed Trump’s election claims. Reviews of ballots conducted by state and federal officials found no evidence of widespread voter fraud; William Barr, Trump’s attorney general on the time, got here to the identical conclusion. Dozens of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies failed to alter any state’s election results.
The first races in Georgia, a swing state that narrowly voted for Biden within the 2020 presidential election, also mark the most important test up to now of Trump’s enduring influence over the Republican Party.
Trump has touted the undeniable fact that many of the candidates he endorsed within the 2022 election cycle have won their primaries, though lots of those races weren’t competitive. Fifteen months after his single term within the White House, the previous president has held his status because the de facto leader of the GOP. Many Republican primary candidates have tried to appeal to the party’s base by talking up their pro-Trump credentials, even when the previous president didn’t endorse them.
The first elections will set the table for the November midterms, when Republicans hope to win majority control of the House and Senate. Democrats are fighting uphill: The president’s party tends to underperform within the midterm elections, and the lead-up to the primaries has been marked partly by high inflation and low approval rankings for Biden.
That is breaking news. Please check back for updates.