Georgia gubernatorial showdown: Kemp lands endorsement of South Carolina's Haley

FIRST ON FOX: GOP Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia is landing the support of a high-profile Republican from neighboring South Carolina as he runs for re-election this year in a rematch against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, whom he narrowly defeated four years ago.

Kemp on Tuesday was endorsed by former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during former President Trump’s administration.

“Governor Brian Kemp knows how to win. He’s a fighter who kept Georgia open for business, cut income taxes, suspended the gas tax, and brought record new jobs into the Peach State. Governor Kemp beat Stacey Abrams once, and he’ll do it again in November,” Haley said in a statement that was shared first with Fox News.

Kemp noted that he is “honored to have the support of Ambassador Nikki Haley as we work to stop the Biden-Abrams agenda from taking hold in Georgia. As a former governor, Ambassador Haley knows that state leadership is the last line of defense against the failed liberal policies that have created record inflation, high gas prices, and economic recession.”

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“With her support – and the support of conservatives across the country – Marty, the girls, and I will wake up every day from now through Election Day and fight to keep our state the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Kemp added, as he referred to his wife and children.

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Kemp’s team says it’s likely Haley will join the governor on the campaign trail in the coming weeks.

Haley, who has been crisscrossing the country the past year and a half helping fellow Republicans running in the 2022 elections, is the second nationally known South Carolina GOP politician to endorse Kemp this summer, following the backing a couple of weeks ago by Sen. Tim Scott. Another well known GOP lawmaker, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, has been helping fundraise for Kemp. Haley, Scott and Cotton are all considered potential contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

The governor holds a mid-single digit advantage over Abrams – a former state Democratic legislative leader and voting rights champion who’s a Democratic Party rising star – in an average of the most recent public opinion surveys in the race. 

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A Fox News poll conducted late last month indicated Kemp holding a three-point edge over Abrams. But Abrams, who is known as a ferocious fundraiser, enjoys a sizable campaign cash advantage over the governor.

Kemp easily defeated a Republican challenge from former Sen. David Perdue — who was endorsed and heavily supported by Trump — in the state’s May 24 GOP gubernatorial primary. Kemp was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence during the primary campaign and Pence headlined a rally for Kemp on the eve of the primary, on the same night that Trump held a tele-rally for Perdue.

The governor appeared to emerge from his combustible primary with Perdue with less damage that originally expected, thanks to his landslide victory. Trump, who spent nearly a year and a half attacking the governor for certifying President Biden’s narrow 2020 election victory in Georgia, has stayed quiet regarding Kemp since the primary.

Abrams did not face any opposition in securing the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.


Source: Politics

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