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

From 54m ago

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.

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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.

&mdash; Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 25, 2022

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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:

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Congratulations Brad Raffensperger, Republican nominee for Secretary of State#LeadRight #gapol #GeorgiaOnTheLine pic.twitter.com/12BrILSlvm

&mdash; GAGOP (@GaRepublicans) May 25, 2022

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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:

Updated at 15.01 BST

If Brian Kemp’s obliteration of David Perdue’s challenge wasn’t bad enough for Donald Trump, the failure of the former president’s pick Jody Hice to topple Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger might have stung even more.

Raffensperger was, of course, the recipient of Trump’s infamous call following the 2020 election asking him to “find” the votes he needed to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state, which is now the subject of a criminal probe.

Brad Raffensperger.
Brad Raffensperger. Photograph: Ben Gray/AP

The refusal of Georgia’s Republican officials to bend to Trump’s will resulted in his furious campaign of vengeance, which fell flat on Tuesday when voters soundly rejected the “big lie” candidates he wanted to install.

Raffensperger’s victory wasn’t as sizeable as Kemp’s, but he still achieved more than 50% of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off and win him the Republican nomination outright.

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Brad Raffensperger found the votes.

&mdash; Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) May 25, 2022

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Brad Raffensperger found the votes.

— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) May 25, 2022

My colleague Sam Levine has taken a look at Raffensperger’s victory and how it was, arguably, the biggest blow yet to Trump’s efforts to install compliant officials in positions of authority:

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.

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

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.

&mdash; Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 25, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/GovChristie/status/1529261130455166979","id":"1529261130455166979","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"8601761c-524f-4c27-a179-f1ffaa09a117"}}”>

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:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Congratulations Brad Raffensperger, Republican nominee for Secretary of State#LeadRight #gapol #GeorgiaOnTheLine pic.twitter.com/12BrILSlvm

&mdash; GAGOP (@GaRepublicans) May 25, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/GaRepublicans/status/1529332094253641729","id":"1529332094253641729","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"57855def-9311-4f82-b5fb-cde6fb6e98ed"}}”>

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:

Updated at 15.01 BST

Good morning and welcome to the midweek edition of the US politics blog.

Donald Trump is facing a cold new reality this morning: the total power he thought he still held over the Republican party is no longer a thing.

Resounding defeats for his “big lie” candidates David Perdue, Jody Hice and John Gordon in Tuesday’s primaries in Georgia were a stunning rebuke for what critics have called Trump’s “vendetta tour” – his plan to take out the state’s top officials who rebuffed his efforts to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.

Former senator Perdue was trounced by incumbent governor Brian Kemp, Hice failed to topple secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, and Gordon fell to attorney general Chris Carr.

It wasn’t a total blowout for Trump-aligned candidates in Georgia: his pick for Senate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, cruised home. And congresswoman Marjory Taylor Greene won her race at a canter.

But that in itself is alarming Republican leaders, who 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.

  • In Alabama, Republican congressman Mo Brooks lost Trump’s endorsement, but won enough votes to reach a run-off to hold on to his seat.
  • In Texas, attorney general Ken Paxton, who spoke at Trump’s 6 January Washington rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection, saw off a challenge from George P Bush, grandson of former president George HW Bush.
  • And the only anti-abortion Democrat in the House, Henry Cuellar, has declared victory over progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros in their Texas district.

We’ll have lots more reaction coming up to the primary elections in Georgia and other states that voted Tuesday, so please stay with us.

The Guardian