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Georgia Republicans are mad their governor won’t break the law for Trump

A Georgia county GOP chair says Kemp will be ‘primaried’ in 2022.

By Amy Lieu - December 01, 2020
Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA)

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has ejected Donald Trump’s repeated calls to illegally overturn his loss, drawing the ire of some GOP members in the state.

“Why won’t Governor @BrianKempGA, the hapless Governor of Georgia, use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes. It will be a ‘goldmine’ of fraud, and we will easily WIN the state….” Trump tweeted on Monday.

Kemp’s office issued a statement in response, saying: “Georgia law prohibits the Governor from interfering in elections.”

“The Secretary of State (Brad Raffensperger), who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,” the statement reads. “As the Governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps – including a sample audit of signatures – to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”

Twitter subsequently labeled Trump’s tweet as an election fraud claim that has been disputed.

In an interview with Fox Business on Sunday, Trump said of Kemp: “The governor’s done nothing, he’s done absolutely nothing. … I’m ashamed that I endorsed him.”

And some Georgia Republicans are upset that Kemp, who has been a loyal pro-Trump member of the party, won’t break the law to help him.

Kay Godwin, the GOP chair in Piece County, Georgia, expects Kemp to “be primaried.”

“Just hoping and praying we get the right one this time,” she told the Daily Beast.

Debbie Dooley, founder of the Atlanta Tea Party, told the publication that Kemp’s handling of the 2020 election would make him susceptible in the 2022 primaries.

Voters are “extremely angry at Brian Kemp now for a number of reasons,” she claimed, adding that “they don’t think he’s sufficiently standing behind President Trump.”

Rusty Paul, former chair of the GOP in Georgia, also weighed in, telling the Beast, “You should have done something’… that’s the mindset people have right now. … That [Kemp] should have been more engaged.”

Compounding attacks against Kemp, Trump ally and Texas lawyer Sidney Powell baselessly claimed without evidence that Kemp accepted bribes from a voting software company that turned millions of votes for Trump to Biden.

But Powell’s unfounded allegations found an audience with Scott Jay, the chair of the GOP in Newton County, Georgia, who cited them and told the Beast that there were “too many questions” surrounding Kemp to garner his support.

Jay continued: “I will have to wait and see how all this plays out. … I’ll vote based upon actions, upon results. He can show me solid results in a conservative manner moving forward, he may regain my vote.”

Although Jay did not mention specific names, he added that he does prefer a 2022 primary challenge against Kemp.

Trump supporters across the state are also expressing outrage.

Late November, protesters threatened Kemp, with one calling him a “traitor” and saying, “For any Republicans not explicitly helping Trump to ‘stop the steal,’ we will make sure you are never elected ever again,” according to Newsweek.

Antoinette Bennett, a lifelong Republican from Athens, Georgia, slammed the Georgia governor, telling the Washington Examiner: “He used to be a pretty conservative guy, but after he won the election, he drifted to the middle. But now, he’s acting more like a Democrat than a Republican.”

Bobby Martin, a resident of Alpharetta, Georgia, said to the outlet that Kemp “needs to start doing what we elected him for,” adding that “we need a leader who stands up for us and Trump. He can either do that, or he can get out.”

On the other hand, Kemp’s supporters have backed his position to stay above the fray.

Jason Shepherd, Republican Party chairman for Cobb County, Georgia, said it would be a “catch-22” for Kemp.

“It’s going to be hard to make any side happy with any statement he can make,” said Shepherd.

Additionally, Paul admitted to the Beast that Kemp is in a “tough position to be in.”

“That’s the same tough position that Perdue and Loeffler find themselves in,” he said.

Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are running against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively, in a Jan. 5 runoff that will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate.

The Perdue and Loeffler campaigns did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

Loeffler was appointed to the Senate by Kemp to fill former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson’s vacant seat in December 2019. Kemp chose her over staunch Trump ally Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a decision that had apparently disappointed Trump at the time.

Though Loeffler and Perdue have called for the resignation of Raffensperger, they have stopped short of criticizing Kemp, so far.

Meanwhile, Kemp stands behind his secretary of state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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