A candidate backed by U.S. President Donald Trump convincingly won a two-man Republican primary run-off for governor of Georgia on Tuesday in a race that became a proxy battle between the president and the state’s popular Republican governor, Nathan Deal.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose hard line campaign approach dovetailed with Trump’s, was projected to defeat Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, who had the endorsement of Deal, local media reported.
Kemp earned the president’s backing last week, a surprise endorsement that analysts said gave him an edge in a race between the two conservatives.
Kemp thanked Trump for his support in a speech accepting his victory.
“We had the momentum in this race and those endorsements by the president and the vice president, they poured gasoline on the fire and fueled the Kemp surge to victory,” he told supporters.
With about 90 percent of the votes reported, Kemp was backed by 69 percent of the Republican voters against Cagle’s 31 percent.
Kemp will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is vying to become the first black woman to serve as a U.S. state governor in what is expected to be one of the most hotly contested races in November’s midterm elections.
Trump carried Georgia by 5 percentage points in 2016.
Cagle, 52, bested Kemp, 55, by 13 points in the first round of the Republican primary in May, though none of the candidates at the time won more than 50 percent of the vote, setting up a run-off election.
Cagle’s support diminished, however, after secret recordings surfaced where he acknowledged supporting a bill he called “bad public policy” to undercut a rival in the race and said the primary appeared to be a contest to see who could be “craziest.”
That last comment likely referred to Kemp’s political advertisements. In one, he sat in room full of guns with a shotgun on his lap while saying jokingly that a teenage boy with him should support the right to carry arms if he wanted to date his daughter and, in a second spot, promised to “round up” illegal immigrants in his pick-up truck.
Deal, who cannot run again due to term limits, endorsed Cagle last week.
Kemp tweeted on July 18 that would “unapologetically stand” with Trump.
Both candidates embraced Trump and have similar policy positions, including support for gun rights and tough anti-illegal immigration measures.
Reporting by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler and Christian Schmollinger
Buffalo has a long history of protecting cops from criminal charges: report
On Saturday, The Daily Beast documented the recent history of use of force in the Buffalo Police Department, which is reeling from controversy as two officers face assault charges for shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground.
"As shocking as this all may be to outsiders, the shoving of demonstrator Martin Gugino and the defiant response of officers to an effort to discipline two of their own is indicative of the state of police affairs in Buffalo," wrote Jim Heaney. "Has been for a long time, not that you have to go back too far to find other episodes of brutality that have been captured on video."
Internet disgusted after Buffalo first responders cheer cops charged with assaulting 75-year-old protester
Commenters on Twitter expressed both contempt and disgust for Buffalo firefighters and police officers who turned out in front of Buffalo City Court to support two suspended police officers with applause and cheering.
Moments after officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault and then released without having to post bail, they were greeted as heroes outside the courthouse.
After a video was posted showing the celebration, commenters on Twitter vented at cops and firefighters for defending the two officers who assaulted the 75-year-old man who had to be rushed to a hospital after they shoved him to the ground where he sustained a head injury.
Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.