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Trump endorses candidate in GA governor's primary

Trump's pick is Brian Kemp, a self-proclaimed "politically incorrect" candidate who has aligned himself closely with the President.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 12:06 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 12:40 PM

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will win the Republican nomination in the state's governor's race, CNN projects, setting up a general election battle against Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in the fall.

It's another victory for President Donald Trump, who had backed Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the final week of what turned out to be a nasty primary runoff.

The Georgia contest was already in the national spotlight: Abrams is a rising progressive star vying to become the nation's first black female governor. And Georgia's move leftward in 2016 -- Trump beat Hillary Clinton there by just under six percentage points -- means both parties are looking to the governor's race as a test of whether the state will be in play in 2020.

Cagle was long thought to be the frontrunner and finished first with 38.9% of the vote in May's primary to Kemp's 25.6%. But because Cagle fell short of 50%, they advanced to a runoff, which had become a contest between the two candidates to cozy up to Trump.

Polls showed the race had swung in Kemp's direction after the primary. Then, he got a major boost last week when Trump unexpectedly extended his "full and total endorsement" in a tweet.

"Brian is tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration. He loves our Military and our Vets and protects our Second Amendment," Trump tweeted.

The President repeated that endorsement Tuesday morning.

"Today is the day to vote for Brian Kemp. Will be great for Georgia, full Endorsement!" he tweeted.

It's another successful endorsement for Trump, who recently backed Katie Arrington as she ousted South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford in a primary and backed Alabama Rep. Martha Roby as she fended off a challenge in a runoff this month.

Cagle's campaign was undercut by a secret recording in which he told a former rival the GOP governor's race was a contest over "who could be the craziest" and admitted supporting "bad public policy" to undercut an opponent's fundraising.

Kemp bashed Cagle over the tape in television ads and debates and labeled Cagle "Pinocchio."

Some Republicans had worried that Kemp is a weaker candidate for November's general election than Cagle.

But Vice President Mike Pence -- whose chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is a veteran Georgia Republican operative -- visited the state on Saturday to campaign for Kemp.

At the rally in Macon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, Kemp said he was tired of "politically correct liberals like Stacey Abrams who are offended by our faith, our guns and our big trucks."

Pence said Kemp would bring "the same type of leadership that Trump brought to the White House."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16560

Reported Deaths: 794
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
Lincoln28031
Leflore27736
Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
Panola843
Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
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Columbus
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Oxford
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