Former President Donald Trump has thrown the Georgia Republican Party into turmoil, and there's diminishing chances for unity following a bruising primary election.
The former president is waging a grievance campaign against GOP officials who refused to help overturn his 2020 election loss, but not all of the candidates he has backed are expected to win -- and some of them have alienated party bosses, reported Politico.
“If Herschel [Walker] were to be the nominee, people who have endorsed him are going to have to explain why they got behind a guy who choked his wife unconscious and threatened shootouts with police," said Dan McLagan, communications director for agriculture commissioner Gary Black. "That would be … uncomfortable for them.”
Trump personally recruited Walker, a former University of Georgia and NFL star with no political experience, to challenge Sen. Rafael Warnock -- a race that Black had already been running -- and the former president endorsed former Sen. David Perdue to challenge incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who is expected to easily win.
“I know there’s been mutterings of a unity rally with us and whoever wins governor and potentially inviting some out of state Republican bigwigs down as well," said Mallory Blount, spokesperson for Walker. "Herschel would be involved and invite people from all parts of the party."
But GOP operatives see little chance for unity after the primary.
“I don’t think that these Trump-endorsed candidates are going to show up at a unity rally, if they lose," said one person working with several GOP candidates, "and I don’t think [Attorney General] Chris Carr and Brad Raffensperger are going to show up at something like that, if they were to lose."
“I don’t see John Gordon showing up for Chris or Chris showing up for John Gordon, or Hice and Raffensperger," that person added. "I don’t see Purdue showing up for Kemp. I don’t think that this is necessarily a good idea if, the visual is, the people who lose don’t show up, and I think that’s a distinct possibility.”