Trump struggles to find a challenger to Kemp in Georgia
June 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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GREENVILLE, NC - JUNE 05: Former U.S. President Donald Trump exits the NCGOP state convention on June 5, 2021 in Greenville, North Carolina. The event is one of former U.S. President Donald Trumps first high-profile public appearances since leaving the White House in January. (Photo by Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)
Donald Trump's plans to play GOP kingmaker are being disrupted by one of his most loyal supporters in Georgia.
In early May at Mar-a-Lago, Trump met with Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones and Jones' father, a wealthy pro-Trump donor, and said he wanted the younger Jones to run for governor against Brian Kemp in the Republican primary.
Trump's focus on disloyal Georgia Republicans is particularly notable, given the prominence the Peach State plays in the former president's false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.
In a January 2 phone call with Raffensperger, Trump asked the secretary of state to "find" enough votes for Trump to make up the difference -- a request the Georgia Republican rejected.
"Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity," Trump said in a statement in March.
Trump made a similar appeal to Kemp, asking in a phone call in December 2020 for the Georgia governor to convene state legislators to select pro-Trump electors.
During an appearance in Georgia before the Senate runoff elections in January, Trump vowed to campaign against Kemp before the 2022 primary.
Republicans there say that Kemp has some vulnerabilities with the most hardcore part of Trump's base; at last weekend's state party convention, some in the crowd booed Kemp.