Georgia voters will choose on Tuesday which Republican will face Democrat voting rights activist Stacey Abrams in the election for governor in November.
To avoid a June 21 primary runoff in the gubernatorial race, one candidate in the field of five must receive more than 50 percent of the vote.
After record-high early voting, Georgians also will cast ballots tomorrow to narrow the field of candidates in an array of primary contests across the state. The general election for top finishers is scheduled for November 8.
Republican races for Georgia’s governor and secretary of state drew attention nationwide, largely because incumbents have been dogged by criticism from former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Trump has insisted that both Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) didn’t do enough to investigate allegations of illegal voting after the 2020 election, especially in Fulton County.
The 2020 election ousted Trump from the White House and installed Joe Biden as President.
Though Kemp is opposed by many Trump supporters, polls suggest he may easily advance to the November battle with Abrams. Kemp triumphed over Abrams in a fight for the office in 2018. Abrams has never conceded and has continued to insist that the election was stolen from her.
Kemp is endorsed by former Vice Pres. Mike Pence, who pledged to speak at a rally at the Cobb County International Airport the night before the primary election.
Other Republican heavy-hitters who have rallied for Kemp in his reelection bid include former Pres. George Bush, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
Trump has endorsed challenger David Perdue, a former U.S. senator from Georgia. Perdue lost his Senate seat after one term in a runoff election on January 5, 2021. The winner of that race was Democrat and media production company CEO Jon Ossoff.
About 55.8 percent of voters say they want Kemp to keep his job, suggests a RealClearPolitics average of polls conducted between April 10 and May 16. Perdue was second in the polling, with 31 percent of the vote. Running third with 4.3 percent was educator Kandiss Taylor.
Spokeswomen for both Perdue and Taylor said they believed the polling falsely showed their candidates behind, and both predicted a far better result on Election Day. Kemp’s camp didn’t respond to requests for comment.
But artificially low polling numbers were part of Taylor’s strategy. On May 21 on Facebook, she told supporters in a post, “Just a reminder…do NOT participate in polls that are sent to you. Hang up, delete the poll from your text or email, or choose one of the twin RINOs. We vote in the POLL Tuesday, May 24th!! We are going to shock the Nation!”
Taylor had an “Ultra MAGA” rally and worship service planned for the morning of May 22 in Forsyth, Ga. Scheduled to appear at the event were businessman and conservative activist Mike Lindell and conservative-radio provocateur Stew Peters.
Taylor promises to “rid Georgia of election fraud; [ensure] fair, legal, secure elections; put morality over money; rid Georgia schools of CRT (Critical Race Theory), SEL (Social-Emotional Learning), and CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education); shut down every abortion clinic in Georgia; [implement] prison reform; stop illegal immigration; and get a handle on the opioid crisis,” spokeswoman Christi Maude told The Epoch Times in a written statement.
“Kandiss is one of the people. She is a fighter. She will not bend her knee to the establishment or backroom deals.”
Taylor is a South Georgia native and 19-year educator, who has worked in public schools as a third-grade teacher, school counselor, testing coordinator, student services coordinator, and homeless liaison.
The mother of three has campaigned with the slogan “Jesus, Guns and Babies!” She has expressed disdain for the “manipulation” of public servants by special interest groups. She’s said she has a “passion for the working class, mental health, less government overreach, education, small business growth, gun rights, farmers, the economy, right to life, and election integrity.”
Perdue was CEO of Reebok, then Dollar General Corp., before winning his first election in 2014 to became a U.S. senator representing Georgia. He met his wife in first grade, and they’ve been married for more than 40 years.
He told The Epoch Times in a written statement, “I’m running for governor to save our state. All the madness we see with the Biden Administration—two million illegals, rising gas prices, runaway inflation, the brink of war–all that started right here in Georgia, when Brian Kemp caved and allowed radical Democrats to steal the election.”
Kemp, he said, has divided the Republican party, and would not be able to defeat Abrams in November. Abrams did not respond to requests for comment.
Perdue expressed concern about a slipping state economy, and said he would “completely eliminate the state income tax.”
“Rapes and murders in Atlanta are up 60 percent,” Perdue said. “Georgia is short over 1,200 law enforcement officers in our major cities alone. At the same time, there are more illegal immigrants in Georgia than Arizona.
“As governor, I will use every available tool, including the National Guard, if necessary, to address out-of-control crime. I will double the size of the criminal interdiction force within the Georgia State Patrol, deport criminal illegals, and appoint law-and-order judges who will ensure criminals are held accountable.”
He expressed concern that Democrat-funded programs in Georgia schools teach children that requiring ID to vote is racist.
“That’s absurd,” Perdue said. “It’s time to stop the indoctrination, get the woke mob out of our schools, and get parents back involved.”
In the governor’s race, incumbent “Brian Kemp has got a good record to run on,” Georgia elections expert Charles Bullock told The Epoch Times. Bullock teaches political science at the University of Georgia and has authored many books on politics.
“The economy of Georgia is doing well,” Bullock said. “Unemployment is down very low.”
And business is moving into the state, bringing thousands of new jobs, he noted.
“There are a lot of things that the governor can point to that will be pleasing for most Georgians, and a lot of things that will fire up and satisfy the Republican primary electorate,” Bullock said. “It hasn’t been implemented yet, but in his first year, he passed a heartbeat bill limiting abortions. Georgia, in the last moments of the legislative session, passed legislation barring transgender students from participating in athletics other than what’s on their birth certificate. And a Constitutional carry bill was passed this year.
“So those were all things which are controversial between Democrats and Republicans, but on the Republican side, they’ll all be united, supporting those.”
From The Epoch Times