Midterm results: Gov. Kemp cruises to reelection over Abrams in Georgia


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Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp speaks during a "Get Out The Vote" rally at the Dalton Convention Center on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 in Dalton, Ga. Republican Brian Kemp is facing off against Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor in Georgia. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Midterm results: Gov. Kemp cruises to reelection over Abrams in Georgia

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ATLANTA Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) bested Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams to win a second term, overcoming well-funded opposition from the Left as well as Republican resistance from former President Donald Trump and his allies.

Abrams called Kemp over the phone to concede the race around 11 p.m on Tuesday night.

Kemp just barely beat Abrams four years ago amid a Democratic wave and Georgia emerging as a bona fide swing state. That year, Trump provided Kemp with a crucial endorsement. This time around, with political tailwinds generated by voter dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden, Kemp cruised to victory. Even grassroots conservatives loyal to Trump stuck with Kemp, who avoided returning fire at the former president, a crucial strategic decision.


Republican voters decided that, as long as Kemp wasn’t against Trump, they were OK with the former president being against the governor, whose administration they were pleased with in any event. But the road to reelection was not easy for Kemp.

First, the governor had to fight for renomination in the GOP primary. Trump, angry with the governor for refusing to back his claims that the 2020 election was stolen, encouraged former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) to run against Kemp. Perdue had lost his bid for a second term in a Jan. 5, 2021, runoff to now-Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA). But Kemp refused to give any ground.

He steamrolled Perdue in the primary and quickly pivoted to Abrams.

Republican insiders in Georgia took the former state legislator seriously. She helped turn the state Democratic Party into a formidable operation and was the crucial engine behind the Left’s effort to organize voters in Georgia — one that helped Biden become the first Democrat since 1992 to win the state’s Electoral College votes.


But Kemp never trailed Abrams, not in any meaningful way. In the end, the outcome of the race was fairly anticlimactic.

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