Bush, NRA turn out for Kemp to rally GOP establishment vote in Georgia against Trump-backed Perdue

Despite a push to the contrary from the former president, Republicans in Georgia appear to be mostly in for their incumbent governor ahead of the late May primary.

Updated: May 11, 2022 - 1:45pm

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Establishment Republicans in Georgia are delivering one final push for incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp as he competes in his primary against Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue.

Kemp was recently endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and will soon attend a fundraiser alongside former President George W. Bush. The Republican Governors Association has also been heavily backing Kemp for months, and spent an estimated $5 million on his reelection bid.

Kemp has consistently polled in front of Perdue throughout the primary ahead of Georgia's May 24 primary.

Despite the former president's best effort to oust Kemp, who he says was not cooperative in the aftermath of the 2020 election, the incumbent governor is up more than 20 points in the polls.

If Kemp wins more than 50% of the vote later this month, he will win the primary outright. Anything less will trigger a runoff. He is currently polling above 50%. 

According to state Republicans, Kemp has been a strong governor. He worked to open up his state as quickly as possible following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He recently signed a bill prohibiting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Last year, he shepherded an election reform package through to enactment, and more recently loosened public carry laws for Georgians with firearms. 

A rejection of Perdue is not necessarily a rejection of Donald Trump in the eyes of Georgia Republicans, with many viewing it as a practical decision about who stands the best shot facing off against Democrat Stacey Abrams in the general election. 

Republican strategist Doug Heye recently told The Hill, "Kemp is running as a winner and David Perdue can't." In 2018, Kemp defeated Stacey Abrams, while Perdue lost his last election.