If nothing else, the gubernatorial race in Georgia promises to be entertaining. Donald Trump’s involvement is already getting the Republicans in Georgia clawing at each other, which could well be a good thing. An early poll released this morning shows Perdue and Kemp with 34% each. Georgia turned blue in the last election cycle, and the last thing Republicans need is an undivided front. They can thank Donald Trump. Associated Press quoted Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (who is not running for reelection): “It’s going to be a political civil war here in Georgia. It’s all avoidable if we just act like adults and move on. But that’s not reality at this point.” He’s got that right. Anything involving Donald Trump will not include adult behavior.
Trump’s childish behavior in Georgia began when Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger repelled his attempts to overturn the election. Since then, he has repeatedly attacked Kemp, calling him “weak” and claiming that “the MAGA base—which is enormous—will never vote for him,” AP reported. Please. That base is not “enormous.” They are just loud and obnoxious. If they are so “enormous,” why is Trump now sitting outside the White House? Perdue is not the only candidate in Georgia that Trump is pitting against one another.
As AP reported, Trump is backing Herschel Walker, an unproven former athlete who does not even technically live in Georgia, against Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. The biggest problem with Trump’s endorsements—well, one of the biggest—is that he chooses based on their perceived loyalty to him rather than experience, which might well hurt his candidates in their respective primaries. The best thing that can happen is that Trump’s candidates lose. Most of them are merely blowhards and have no room to criticize others. Perdue, for instance, freely criticizes Kemp, blaming him and Raffensperger for his own loss. Kemp’s supporters are showing that two can play the mud-slinging game.
A group called the Georgians First Leadership Committee is aligned with Kemp and raises an incredible number of contributions. After Perdue announced his candidacy, a spokesman from the group took a page from Senator Jon Ossoff’s book, once again bringing up the controversies surrounding Perdue’s stock trades and business record. In its fundraising email, the group wrote: “This crooked insider and ‘America Last’ loser is DESPERATE to claw his way back into political relevance,” AP reported. Hopefully, Perdue can take it since he loves to dish it out. While other Republicans are calling for party unity, the Trump contingent is looking to do just the opposite.
Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is quietly mounting her attack. Slate magazine recently published a compelling piece detailing how Abrams might just win this time around. They point to the work she did in the presidential election, resulting in turning Georgia blue, which has not happened since Bill Clinton won in 1992. She was also instrumental in getting Georgia’s first Jewish and first Black senators to Washington. There is no doubt of Abrams’ power, and at the rate Republicans are going, she can spend her time planning for the general election while the Trump and regular Republicans duke it out in the primary.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years