Georgia Democrats re-nominate Stacey Abrams for governor

Abrams has shown his ability to raise millions, but Republicans have raised the specter of his gubernatorial nomination in an attempt to unify a party fractured by former President Donald Trump’s attempts to unseat Kemp.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s Republican governor’s primary on Tuesday could sound the death knell of the confrontation between Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and former US Senator David Perdue, while Stacey Abrams will be crowned the Democratic Party candidate after running unopposed.

More than 850,000 Georgians voted during weeks of in-person early voting. New election rules passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year made mail-in ballots and ballot boxes — forms of voting that were popular in the 2020 election amid the coronavirus pandemic — an option less appealing, and they took a nosedive this year.

With three other candidates in the Republican race, neither Kemp nor Perdue may win a majority, requiring a June 21 runoff. Such a scenario could leave the winner with empty pockets. However, polls have shown Kemp extending his lead in recent weeks, raising the possibility that the nomination could be settled. Tuesday.

Abrams will await the winner in a November contest that is likely to be one of the most expensive and high-profile in the country. She narrowly lost the governorship to Kemp in 2018.

“Four years ago, I warned Kemp was about to fail. And four years later, I’m going to prove he was the wrong choice for Georgia,” Abrams told a conference call. press Tuesday.

Perdue was personally courted by former President Donald Trump to enter the race in retaliation for Kemp not following Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 loss in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden. Perdue embraced Trump’s election lies, opening up two debates between the candidates by claiming the 2020 ballot was “rigged and stolen.” Election officials found no evidence of fraud after multiple reviews.

Trump held an in-person rally for Perdue, sent more than $3 million to two political action committees to pay for ads attacking Kemp on election issues, and maintained a steady stream of rhetorical gunfire against the incumbent. But Trump hasn’t returned to Georgia since March, and Perdue’s ads disappeared from Georgian television stations for much of the crucial early voting period.

On his final day of campaigning, Perdue snapped a photo of Abrams’ remarks Saturday at a Democratic dinner that “I’m tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we we are the worst state in the country to live in”. goes on to explain when Georgia has dismal rankings for access to mental health and maternal mortality, “then you’re not the first place to live.”

“She’s humiliating her own race about it,” Perdue said Monday in an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro.

“I had an inelegant statement of a statement that I will continue to make – that Brian Kemp is a failed governor who doesn’t care about the people of Georgia,” Abrams said Tuesday.

“I’ve listened to Republicans attack me for the past six months, but they’ve done nothing to address the challenges Georgia faces,” Abrams said Tuesday.

Kemp used the power of his tenure to push a series of bills through the legislature, signing tax-cutting measures, allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a license, and leaving the state athletic association ban transgender girls from playing sports in high school.

The governor also used the state’s bountiful coffers to deliver pay raises and improved his economic development record by announcing two major electric vehicle factories.

Republicans rallied to Kemp’s side: He was backed by powerful GOP figures, including former Vice President Mike Pence and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

Kemp’s focus on Georgia issues appealed to 22-year-old dental assistant Will Parbhoo.

“I’m not really a Trumper,” Parbhoo said. “I didn’t like him at first. With all the election stuff, I was like ‘man, move on.’

Perdue rushed for contributions, hitting Kemp for felony and luring the Rivian Automotive plant to an area east of Atlanta over the objections of many locals.

Abrams has been running for months, seeking to boost his image with Georgia voters with more than $7 million in advertising, despite having no primary opposition.

The centerpiece of his platform remains a call to expand Medicaid to all adults, but Abrams also stresses his support for abortion rights and his opposition to a law allowing the unlicensed carry of concealed handguns in public. . The Democratic star has shown his ability to raise millions. Meanwhile, Republicans have raised the specter of his gubernatorial nomination in an attempt to unify a party fractured by Trump’s attempts to unseat Kemp.

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Associated Press writer Jeff Martin in Woodstock, Georgia, contributed to this report.

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Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

Jeff Amy, The Associated Press

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