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Kelly Loeffler won't campaign with governor who appointed her

Following a string of attacks by Trump, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has disappeared from the campaign trail.

By Josh Israel - January 04, 2021
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) has reportedly stopped campaigning with Gov. Brian Kemp, the man who appointed her to her Senate seat. This comes after Donald Trump has called on Kemp to resign for not rigging the state’s presidential election results.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Sunday that Kemp, who campaigned for her heavily prior to the November elections, has been missing from the campaign trail. Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in Tuesday’s runoff election.

Kemp unilaterally selected Loeffler, a wealthy financial services executive, to fill a vacant seat in December 2019. He made this move against the wishes of Trump, who had repeatedly urged him to name then-Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) to the position.

But rather than be loyal to the man who put her in the Senate, Loeffler has tried to sell herself to Georgia voters at “100% pro-Trump.” Last week, she abruptly flipped her position on $2,000 stimulus checks, saying she was doing so because Trump backed the idea. “I’ve stood by the president 100% of the time, I’m proud to do that, and I’ve said, absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now and I will support that.”

Though Trump endorsed and heavily campaigned for Kemp in 2018, he soured on the governor after Kemp repeatedly certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

@BrianKempGA should resign from office,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “He is an obstructionist who refuses to admit that we won Georgia, BIG!” Biden won the state by nearly 12,000 votes.

In a phone call on Saturday — released Sunday by the Washington Post — Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Republican that he regretted ever backing Kemp.

“Like a schmuck, I endorsed him, and he got elected, but I will tell you, he is a disaster,” Trump complained. “What a schmuck I was. But that’s the way it is.”

A Loeffler spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But in lieu of campaigning with her political patron, Loeffler has instead been relying on out-of-state backers.

On Sunday, Loeffler campaigned with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — a fellow Republican who continued with an anti-mask approach to the COVID-19 pandemic even as her state became the hardest hit by the virus.

“The only reason you know who I am is that the liberals have been busy beating me up for every single decision I’ve been making for my people in South Dakota,” Noem bragged at their rally. “My people are happy. They are happy because they’re free.” More than 100,000 South Dakotans have contracted the coronavirus to date — out of a population of about 885,000.

On Monday, Trump will host a rally in support of Loeffler and her fellow Republican senator from Georgia, David Perdue.

“As badly as we were treated in Georgia by the ‘Republican’ Governor and ‘Republican’ Secretary of State, we must have a massive victory for two great people, @KLoeffler & @sendavidperdue, on January 5th,” he wrote last month. “I will be having a big Rally for them on Monday night, January 4th. WIN!”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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