Brian Kemp telegraphs ‘bloody’ primary if Trump convinces David Perdue to challenge him: report
David Perdue on Facebook.

The Republican governor of Georgia rallied with law enforcement officials on Tuesday as he seeks re-election despite being loathed by Donald Trump.

"First, Attorney General Chris Carr declared the first-term Republican to be a 'decisive conservative.' Then came Insurance Commissioner John King, who said Kemp 'unapologetically' backs the blue," Greg Bluestein reported for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Normally, the wave of endorsements from GOP figures rallying behind a Republican incumbent would merit little attention. But with a possible primary challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue looming, there was an implicit message tied to Kemp's Tuesday event: If there's a primary fight, it will be a bloody one."

Sheriffs from 108 of Georgia's 159 counties are backing Kemp's re-election.

"Though Kemp backers are split on the likelihood of a Perdue challenge, his campaign is taking the threat seriously. His allies have warned there would be a 'scorched earth' campaign if the ex-U.S. senator runs that could irrevocably split the GOP this cycle," the newspaper reported.

At a September campaign rally in the Peach State, Trump suggested that Democrat Stacey Abrams might be a better governor than Kemp. Georgia Republicans were reportedly outraged by Trump's speech.

"Lawmakers and lobbyists whisper of major donors calling Perdue urging him not to run against Kemp – or quietly pledging their support if he does. An Instagram post featuring several prominent GOP consultants at a concert with a caption of Perdue's slogan, '#TeamOutsiders,' sparked more chatter over the weekend," the newspaper reported. "Perdue's advisers also note he's been in steady contact with former President Donald Trump, who would presumably endorse the former senator if he entered the race."