Donald Trump fell short in his campaigns to wreak vengeance on Republicans who refused to help him overturn his 2020 election loss, but the winners are still helping to restrict voting rights.
Gov. Brian Kemp and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger prevailed in their Georgia primary races over Trump-backed candidates David Perdue and Jody Hice, and the former president's opponents are crowing over the results.
“If there is any cosmic political karma, Brian Kemp deserves every bit of it,” John Watson, a former chair of the Georgia GOP, told Politico. “This is the payback of all paybacks.”
The former president's Senate pick Herschel Walker won his GOP primary, and Trump-backed candidates have won elsewhere in campaigns based on his 2020 election lies, but Georgia Republicans rejected his endorsements for governor and secretary of state.
"I think the reality is, an overwhelming majority of Georgians are going to vote against the Trump-endorsed candidate, and it shouldn't be surprising, right?" GOP Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told Axios. "I mean, we've got hundreds of years' worth of history that shows us the former president loses their influence every day they're out of office, and Donald Trump — although he wishes it wasn't the case — is no different."
However, the winning candidates aren't exactly at odds with the MAGA message, and they've helped restrict voting rights since Trump's election loss using more euphemistic language than Trump to suggest voting fraud was a widespread problem.
"Standing for you, standing for the rule of law and election integrity, standing for the truth and not buckling under the pressure is what people want," Raffensperger said after his win.