Georgia primaries deliver blow to Trump’s grip on Republican party – live | US news


Kemp victory terminal for former president’s ‘vendetta tour’

It was supposed to be the moment of Donald Trump’s triumphant revenge over Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp and the other RINOs (Republicans in name only) he excoriated for rebuffing his big lie of a stolen presidential election.

But as his chosen candidates fell one by one in Tuesday’s primary elections, a new reality was dawning over the former president: the total control the self-appointed kingmaker believed he still wielded over the Republican party is no longer intact.

Reaction to last night’s events was coming in on Wednesday, although, notably, nothing yet from the former president himself, who put his reputation and – for once his money – behind former senator David Perdue’s doomed attempt to unseat Kemp.

But others had plenty to say.

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who was among a number of senior Republicans, including ex-vice president Mike Pence, to back Kemp, celebrated the demise of Trump’s “vendetta tour” in a tweet.

Enormous win tonight for @BrianKempGA. I am so proud of and happy for my friend—and just as importantly for the Georgia GOP and the people of Georgia. They were not going to kick out a great Governor or be willing participants in the DJT Vendetta Tour.

— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 25, 2022

Kemp goes on to face Democrat Stacy Abrams – who won her party’s primary Tuesday unopposed in November in a rematch of their 2018 battle, which Kemp won narrowly.

Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who memorably denied Trump’s request that he “find” votes in 2020, secured the Republican nomination for re-election against the Trump-backed congressman Jody Hice.

The state’s Republican party was quick to celebrate:

And Georgia’s Republican attorney general Chris Carr beat back a challenge from John Gordon, who made Trump’s stolen election myth a central plank of his campaign.

Not all Trump-aligned candidates in Georgia fell: his pick for Senate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, cruised home. And congresswoman Marjory Taylor Greene won her race at a canter.

But Republican leaders will worry that Walker, who has a history of domestic violence, is the wrong candidate to be taking on Democratic senator Raphael Warnock in the fall. And that Greene’s extremism will turn off independent voters.

My colleague Lauren Gambino has this look at how Trump’s chosen candidates went down, and how Kemp’s victory marks a “resounding setback” for the former president’s quest to punish those who dared to cross him: