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Pence will hold a rally with Kemp in Georgia in a break with Trump – Daily Local

Jill Colvin

NEW YORK (AP) – Former Vice President Mike Pence will campaign with incumbent Georgian Gov. Brian Kemp a day before the Republican primaries this month in his most significant political rift with former President Donald Trump to date.

Kemp’s campaign announced on Friday morning that Pence would lead the campaign for Kemp on Monday, May 23, the day before the vote. This puts Pence in direct conflict with Trump-backed candidate David Purdue, who is lagging behind in the polls. Kemp is one of Trump’s main goals in this election cycle because of his refusal to cooperate with Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

“Brian Kemp is my friend, a man of faith, family and the people of Georgia,” Pence said in a statement. “I am proud to be able to fully support another four years of Brian Kemp as Governor of the Greater Georgia!”

The news comes when Pence has taken steps to distance himself from Trump as the former congressman and governor of Indiana is considering a presidential candidacy in 2024 that could put him in direct competition with his former boss.

This is including calling Trump by name. In February, Pence said Trump was “wrong,” insisting that Pence had the power to unilaterally repeal the 2020 election, a power not owned by vice presidents. In a separate speech to major Republican donors, Pence called on the Republican Republic to move away from Trump’s electoral grievances and said the party had no place for Vladimir Putin’s apologists after Trump described the Russian leader’s maneuvers as “genius” before his brutal invasion of Ukraine.

“Elections are the future,” Pence said in March. “My Republican friends, we can only win if we unite around an optimistic vision of the future based on our highest values. We can’t win by fighting in yesterday’s battles or returning to the past. “

In an interview with radio presenter John Fredericks in the conservative edition of Real America’s Voice, Trump refused to release Pence when asked about his decision to campaign with Kemp.

“Well, Mike is trying to get involved and he’s a very good person,” he said. “But he really let us all down.”

Meanwhile, the former president continued to run for three current and former Republican governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, whom he previously called “Rhino” – or “Republicans by name” – for supporting Kemp.

“We have to fight these people,” Trump said Friday.

Earlier this week, Trump said their support “tells you everything you need to know about what you’re getting in Georgia – it’s just a continuation of a bad election and a real RINO if you vote for Brian Kemp.”

“Maybe ‘R’ in RINO really means re-elected,” Christy joked.

The race in Georgia is a gamble for Trump, who won a major victory in Ohio earlier this month when JD Vance, a candidate he backed, came behind to win competitive primaries in the Senate Reputation. But last week, his candidate for governor of Nebraska, Charles Herbster, lost the primaries amid groping accusations. And Trump faces additional challenges ahead, including in Pennsylvania next week, where his election to the Senate, celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, is in a tough, tripartite race.

Kemp was significantly ahead of Purdue in polls in March and April, and many expect Kemp to be able to win without the June second round, which will be launched if none of the candidates gets a majority.

However, Trump expressed optimism about his candidate on Friday, saying he “hears good things” about Purdue’s reputation.

Purdue, a former senator, is also lagging behind in fundraising and had about $ 900,000 in cash on April 30, less than a month before the May 24 primaries, while Camp had $ 10.7 million.

Trump’s political action committee last month donated $ 500,000 to an anti-Kemp advertising group, his first major expense in any race in the cycle, despite entering the year with more than $ 120 million in cash.

The winner will meet Democrat Stacy Abrams, who raised more than $ 20 million and had $ 8 million in cash on April 30th.

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