Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp tried to paint GOP challenger David Perdue as a damaged candidate, claiming he lost to Democrat Sen. Jon Ossoff in his last campaign.
The governor focused on preparing for his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams.
Fun fact: The photo from Brian Kemp’s Wikipedia page is actually cropped from this image of him standing next to David Perdue pic.twitter.com/xZgYu0CirI
— GarciaChopperInChief ✝️ 🚁 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 (@GarciaTheChad) April 25, 2022
On three occasions, Kemp stated he is the only candidate who already defeated Stacey Abrams, making reference to his 2018 victory.
Debates on the Issues
The hopefuls also deliberated on rising crime, the economic system, pandemic limitations, and Buckhead’s cityhood.
The biggest gulf between Kemp and Perdue was the 2020 election; both tried to tout their conservative standpoints on police departments, halting illegal immigration, and improving Georgia’s economic situation.
Trump-supported candidates are running for office in the state’s Republican primary on May 24.
Although Trump backed five aspirants running for office in Georgia, he has given special attention to the governor’s race.
Post-election, Trump publicly chastised Kemp for certifying the state’s election results.
He also asked Kemp to call for a special state legislature meeting to appoint a new slate of Republican electors. Kemp declined.
DEBATE TONIGHT: Gov Brian Kemp (R-Ga) to David Perdue: "Quit blaming me for your loss" https://t.co/SMKaFf9HpR
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) April 24, 2022
Perdue called for a special session on Sunday. He also chastised the incumbent governor for not making any illegal voting arrests in the 2020 election.
“Incompetent politicians take credit for success and blame others for failure,” Perdue said.
Kemp’s response: “Weak leaders blame others for their losses.” In the debate, Kemp said that “looking backward” wouldn’t beat Abrams.
Trump took credit for Kemp’s 2018 victory in a run-off election, telling aides that Kemp owed him an institutional debt. When Kemp refused Trump’s demands, Trump relentlessly attacked him.
The Donald Trump Factor
At a rally last year, Trump said if they face off again in November, he prefers Abrams to Kemp.
“Having her, in my opinion, is preferable to having your current governor. It might be better,” Trump said in September 2021 in Perry, Georgia.
Perdue, Trump’s choice for governor, quickly embraced calls for an investigation into the 2020 election and negative comments that Kemp should have considered a special session.
It’s no surprise that Perdue is trailing in the polls. The latest WGCL-TV/Landmark poll shows Kemp leading Perdue by 24 points. 52 percent backed Kemp, 27 percent backed Perdue, and 10 percent were undecided.
Kemp has led in all previous polls this year. A Trump event in Commerce, Georgia in March didn’t budge the polls.
“Trump came, and his rally got massive media attention. If you don’t understand now, you’re not a voter,” said Republican consultant Brian Robinson before the debate.
“You’re so disengaged that you can’t possibly know an election is on May 24.”
Kemp has over $12 million in available cash, especially in contrast to less than $1 million for Perdue.
Perdue skipped his only discourse with Ossoff in front of the 2021 run-off. Kemp didn’t debate Abrams in 2018. The two Republican politicians will debate once more on Thursday.