Georgia Republicans were already unhappy with Gov. Brian Kemp, and his refusal to interfere in President Donald Trump's election loss may have been the last straw.
Trump claims credit for Kemp's election win two years ago, but he and other Republicans have withdrawn their support after the governor has declined to get involved in the president's efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden in Georgia and other states, reported The Daily Beast.
“[Kemp] will be primaried," said Kay Godwin, the chair of the Pierce County GOP. "Just hoping and praying we get the right one this time.”
Some Republicans in the state remain irked that Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to an open Senate seat last year instead of Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), and the dual runoff elections Jan. 4 to decide both of the state's Senate seats has inflamed intra-party tensions.
“You should have done something," said former state GOP chair Rusty Paul. "That’s the mindset people have right now, that [Kemp] should have been more engaged. That’s a tough position to be in. That’s the same tough position that [Sen. David] Perdue and Loeffler find themselves in.”
“Georgia is such a competitive state right now that simply winning the primary isn’t enough anymore,” Paul added. “You’ve got to have your eyes focused on the general election. You can’t go out and primary the governor and take him down, or the secretary of state or another incumbent, and just assume … that you’re going to be successful in the general election.”
Trump supporters in Georgia believe Kemp should have called a special legislative session to make changes to absentee voting, or somehow deny certification of Biden's win, and there's a movement afoot to remove him from office before 2022.
“We are committed to his removal,” says one anti-Kemp website that does not reveal its funder. “Recall? Impeachment? Primarying him?”
Many Georgia Republicans buy into the president's baseless fraud allegations, and they're waiting for Kemp to validate them.
“I will have to wait and see how all this plays out,” said Scott Jay, chair of the Newton County GOP. “I’ll vote based upon actions, upon results. He can show me solid results in a conservative manner moving forward, he may regain my vote.”