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Ex-President Donald Trump remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party, and his endorsement of 2022 remains the most coveted, but the ex-president suffered fresh stinging defeats in Georgia on Tuesday.
Four weeks after three statewide candidates backed by Trump in Georgia’s Republican primary were demolished, two more candidates who backed the former president were defeated in the congressional Republican primary.
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But while Trump’s enormous influence on the Republican Party took another blow in Georgia, his America First movement was the winner again with the two main winners being Trump-style conservatives who support the former president’s policies.
In the 10th congressional district runoff in Georgia, trucking company owner Mike Collins defeated Trump-backed Vernon Jones. According to the unofficial results, Collins received nearly three times as many votes as Jones, a former state legislator and Democrat-turned-Republican who was the top black alternative to the then-president in Beach State during the 2020 election.
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The area, reliably marked in red, extends from suburbs east of Atlanta through rural areas east to the suburbs of Augusta and to the South Carolina border. Collins will be considered the front-runner against the winner of the district’s Democratic primary run-off, in the race to succeed the Republican congressman. Judy Hayes, who launched a failed campaign for Georgia’s Secretary of State instead of seeking re-election.
Collins was approved last week by the Republican governor. Brian Kemp, just three weeks after Kemp crushed the former senator. David Purdue, who has been challenging the conservative conservative with big Trump support. Kemp Perdue led by more than 50 points in last month’s Republican primaries, which was a stinging defeat for Trump. Kemp provoked Trump to endorse the then-president’s electoral defeat of President Biden in Georgia in the 2020 election.
Georgia government. Kemp endorses Mike Collins on Trump-backed VERNON JONES
Purdue wasn’t the only prominent Trump-backed candidate to be defeated in the Georgia primary. Hayes lost in double digits to Secretary of State Brad Ravensberger, who has also been repeatedly attacked by Trump. Trump was backed by the Republican Party, the Attorney General, John Gordon, was demolished by the incumbent President Chris Carr.
Jones was originally running for governor in this cycle, hoping to secure Trump’s endorsement in the primaries against Kemp. But after endorsing Purdue, he persuaded former President Jones to end his bid for governor and instead run for Hayes’ open seat in Congress. Trump supported Jones when he launched his bid for the House of Representatives.
Collins gave Kemp a shout out in his initial victory speech, thanking the governor for his endorsement.
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“Trump’s anger has overshadowed his influence in Georgia,” veteran Republican advisor Dan McClagan told Fox News. “Kemp’s stock in Georgia is much higher than Trump’s stock is now.”
Although Collins did not get the former president’s endorsement in the primaries, he ran as a pro-Trump candidate. Collins describes himself as a “conservative fighter” and “America First, loyal to Trump, an outsider.”
In Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, which mostly covers rural areas north of Atlanta, Trump-backed Jake Evans was defeated by Dr. Rich McCormick.
The former president chaired a conference call on the eve of the primaries for Evans, the former chair of the Georgia Ethics Committee and son of Randy Evans, who served as ambassador to Luxembourg during the Trump administration.
McCormick had support from the controversial conservative senator. Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as the Growth Club, a financially conservative outside group that spends heavily in the Republican primary. The race was the third high-profile Republican primary in the past two months when Trump and Cruz — who could become potential contenders in the 2024 GOP presidential nomination race — backed two rival candidates.
McCormick, like Collins, ran as a Trump-style candidate even while facing a challenger endorsed by the former president.
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“I expect Donald Trump will call us because we’re going to be friends together, and we’ll move forward together because that’s what the party is all about,” McCormick said in his initial victory speech. “This shouldn’t be about any past president. It shouldn’t be about a future president. It should be about a party that understands what’s at stake here.”
It was a different story in neighboring Alabama on Tuesday night, as the candidate Trump endorsed handily won the Republican primary in the Senate in the race to succeed the Republican senator. Richard Shelby, who retired after nearly 45 years in Congress.
Katie Brett, a former long-time Shelby aide who served as the senator’s chief of staff from 2016-2018 and later became the first female president and CEO of the Alabama Business Council, defeated the Representative. Moe Brooks, who was one of Trump’s top allies in the House of Representatives.
Trump backed Brooks last year when the congressman was the front-runner in the race, but the former president backed out earlier this year as Brooks ran in the election. After criticizing Brett last year, Trump praised her for endorsing her a week ago, after new polls indicated Brett was up.
But the endorsement has put Trump in the peculiar position of backing the more established candidate in the race, whose campaign has also been bolstered by allies of longtime Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who has been heavily criticized for nearly a year and a half. .
A split decision for Trump in two key figures in South Carolina
Tuesday’s results come a week after Trump secured a divided decision in the South Carolina primary.
Until last week, not a pro-Trump candidate had ousted a GOP chief who overtook the previous one. But that changed last Tuesday when South Carolina Representative Russell Fry convincingly defeated the five-term Representative. Tom Rice in the state’s red 7th congressional district.
But the former president did not receive the sweep he had hoped for – as a deputy. Nancy Mays held the Republican primary in the state’s first swing congressional district to defeat former state legislator Katie Arrington, who had been backed by Trump. While May’s victory was a setback for Trump, it was a victory for another potential GOP 2024 presidential challenger – the two-term former South Carolina governor. Nikki Haley – who firmly supported Mace.
Trump has racked up scores of endorsements in this cycle, and the percentage of wins from candidates he supported in the primaries remains high. But many of those he supports have been running non-competitive or non-competitive primaries.
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In competitive races, Trump has suffered some notable defeats, along with his many setbacks in Georgia. While Trump’s endorsements were instrumental in the Senate primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both candidates for the governor’s position endorsed by the former president lost in Idaho and Nebraska.