Pence campaigns for Kemp in opposition to Trump-backed main challenger

Former Vice President Mike Pence is headlining a main election-eve marketing campaign occasion subsequent week for Governor Brian Kemp, who’s going through a Trump-backed main challenger in former Senator David Perdue.

Pence will rally with Kemp on Monday, Might 23, forward of the Might 24 GOP main in Georgia. Former President Trump has thrown his weight behind Purdue — the previous president nonetheless harbors a grudge over Kemp for refusing to overturn the 2020 presidential election leads to Georgia. The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported the previous vp would marketing campaign for Kemp. 

The endorsement units up a proxy battle between Pence and Trump in a key battleground state. Trump has targeted his ire concerning the 2020 election on Kemp for certifying the election leads to his state. He inspired Perdue to run a main in opposition to him, and Perdue has echoed Trump’s false claims concerning the election. In a current debate, Perdue even started his opening remarks by saying the election was stolen.

The Georgia gubernatorial main will likely be one other large check of Trump’s endorsement energy. Kemp has been main in polls, basing his marketing campaign on his report because the incumbent and specializing in jobs and the financial system and contrasts with the seemingly Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams. 

Pence’s endorsement additionally exhibits the extent to which he could also be constructing his political capital on this yr’s midterm elections, signaling ambitions to run for the GOP nomination in 2024. Whereas he was vp, he campaigned for Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler within the state’s runoff races in January 2021 and urged Republicans to prove and vote for the 2 Republican incumbents because the final line of protection in opposition to a Democratic Senate. On the time, Trump was specializing in a “rigged election” that Republican operatives within the state thought deterred their voters from displaying up within the runoff. Finally, Perdue and Loefller misplaced their races, and Democrats took management of the Senate. 

Pence has clashed with Trump on the validity of the 2020 election and the suggestion by the previous president that Pence someway might have modified the end result. 

“There are these in our social gathering who imagine that because the presiding officer of the joint session of Congress that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral Faculty Votes,” Pence said in a speech to the Federalist Society in February. “And I heard this week that President Trump mentioned I had the best to overturn the election. President Trump is unsuitable. I had no proper to overturn the election.”

Kemp has stood his floor in defending the best way he and Georgia election officers dealt with the 2020 presidential marketing campaign. Kemp was first election to the governor’s workplace in 2018, defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams. If he prevails within the main, he’ll once more face Abrams, who’s working unopposed for the Democratic nomination. 

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.

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