Georgia runoffs: GOP picks governor candidate in test of Trump endorsement

Georgia runoffs: GOP picks governor candidate in test of Trump endorsement

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, left, and Secretary of State Brian Kemp speak during an Atlanta Press Club debate at Georgia Public Television on July 12. (John Bazemore/AP) Georgia Republicans will decide Tuesday on their nominee for governor in a race that has been shaped by embarrassing audio recordings, accusations of “fake news” and a last-minute endorsement from President Trump. For months, the favorite for the nomination was Casey Cagle, a three-term lieutenant governor who was endorsed by most elected Republicans. But his edge has faded since the May 22 primary as Brian Kemp, the state’s chief elections officer, has gained endorsements and taken advantage of Cagle’s mistakes. On Wednesday, the president tweeted his support for Kemp, who is running as a “ politically incorrect conservative ,” and over the weekend, Vice President Pence flew to the state to endorse him. “Brian Kemp will bring the kind of leadership to the state house that President Donald Trump has brought to the White House,” Pence said at a Saturday rally in Macon. A victory for Kemp, who ran 13 points behind Cagle in the May 22 primary, would be seen as the latest case of the president reshaping his adopted party. But Cagle’s problems began before the president weighed in. As he navigated his way through the crowded primary, with rivals tagging him as the “establishment” candidate, Cagle made moves to the right, including a fight to punish Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines for its criticism of the National Rifle Association that […]

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