Trump suffered further setbacks in Georgia as candidates he backed fell in GOP primary elections

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Former President Donald Trump is still the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party and his endorsement in the 2022 cycle remains the most coveted, but the former president suffered further crushing defeats in Georgia on Tuesday.

Four weeks after a trio of statewide candidates Trump backed in Georgia’s Republican primaries were torn down, two more candidates endorsed and backed by the former president have been defeated in the congressional primary. of the GOP.

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But as Trump’s immense grip on the GOP took another hit in Georgia, his America First movement was again a winner as the two main winners were Trump-style conservatives who support the former president’s policies. .

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In Georgia’s 10th congressional district runoff, Trump-backed Vernon Jones was beaten by trucking company owner Mike Collins. According to unofficial results, Collins received nearly triple the votes won by Jones, a former state lawmaker and Democrat-turned-Republican who was one of the then-president’s top black surrogates in Peach State. in the 2020 elections.

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The neighborhood, which is reliably red, stretches from the eastern outskirts of Atlanta through rural areas east to the outskirts of Augusta and down to the North Carolina border. South. Collins will be considered the favorite against the winner of the Democratic primary runoff in the district, in the race to succeed Republican Rep. Jody Hice, who launched an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia’s secretary of state rather than stand re-elect.

Collins was endorsed last week by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, just three weeks after Kemp crushed former Sen. David Perdue, who was the first to challenge the conservative governor with significant support from Trump. Kemp edged Perdue by more than 50 points in last month’s Republican gubernatorial primary, which was a crushing defeat for Trump. Kemp had angered Trump for certifying the then-president’s election defeat to current President Biden in Georgia in the 2020 election.

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GEORGIA GOV. KEMP APPROVES MIKE COLLINS ON TRUMP-BACKED VERNON JONES

Perdue wasn’t the only high profile Trump-backed candidate to be defeated in the Georgia primary. Hice lost by double digits to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump had also repeatedly attacked. And Trump-backed GOP Attorney General challenger John Gordon was taken down by incumbent Chris Carr.

Jones was originally running for governor this cycle, hoping to win Trump’s endorsement in the primary against Kemp. But after endorsing Perdue, the former president convinced Jones to end his bid for governor and instead run for Hice’s open seat in Congress. Trump endorsed Jones when launching his House offer.

Collins gave a shoutout to Kemp in his main victory speech, thanking the governor for his endorsement.

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“Trump’s anger has outstripped his influence in Georgia,” Georgia-based veteran Republican consultant Dan McLagan told UKTN News. “Kemp’s stock in Georgia is much higher than Trump’s right now.”

Even though Collins didn’t win the former president’s endorsement in the primary, he ran as a pro-Trump candidate. Collins describes himself as a “conservative fighter” and an “America First, Pro-Trump, outsider.”

In Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which mostly covers rural areas north of Atlanta, Trump-backed Jake Evans was defeated by physician Rich McCormick.

The former president headlined a tele-rally on the eve of the primary for Evans, a former chair of Georgia’s ethics commission and son of Randy Evans, who served as ambassador to Luxembourg during the Trump

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McCormick was backed by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative outside group that spends heavily in Republican primaries. The race was the third high-profile Republican primary showdown in the past two months when Trump and Cruz — who could become potential rivals in the 2024 GOP presidential nomination race — backed rival candidates.

McCormick, like Collins, ran as a Trump-style candidate even when facing a rival endorsed by the former president.

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“I expect Donald Trump to call us because we’re going to be friends together, and we’re going to move forward together because that’s what this is all about,” McCormick said in his primary victory speech. “It shouldn’t be about a former president. It shouldn’t be about a future president. It should be about a party that understands what’s at stake here.”

It was a different story in neighboring Alabama on Tuesday night, where the Trump-endorsed nominee easily won the GOP Senate runoff in the race to succeed Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring after nearly 45 years. in Congress.

Katie Britt, a longtime former aide to Shelby who served as the senator’s chief of staff from 2016 to 2018 and later became the first female president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, defeated Rep. Mo Brooks , who was one of Trump’s main allies. in the House.

Trump backed Brooks last year when the congressman was the frontrunner in the race, but the former president resumed his endorsement earlier this year as Brooks struggled in the polls. And after criticizing Britt last year, Trump praised and endorsed her a week ago, after new polls indicated Britt was on the rise.

But the endorsement put Trump in the odd position of backing the more established style nominee in the race, whose campaign has also been boosted by allies of longtime GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, whom the former president has been heavily criticized for nearly a year and a half.

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SPLIT DECISION FOR TRUMP IN TWO HIGH-LEVEL SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY

Tuesday’s results come a week after Trump received a split decision in the South Carolina primaries.

Until last week, a Trump-endorsed nominee had yet to eliminate a GOP incumbent who had run through the former president. But that changed last Tuesday when South Carolina state legislator Russell Fry convincingly defeated five-term Rep. Tom Rice in the state’s red 7th congressional district.

But the former president didn’t receive the sweep he was hoping for — as Rep. Nancy Mace held firm in the GOP primary in the state’s swingy 1st Congressional District to defeat the former lawmaker in state Katie Arrington, who was backed by Trump. While Mace’s victory was a setback for Trump, it was a victory for another potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate – former two-term South Carolina governor Nikki Haley – who had strongly backed Mace. .

Former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley headlines a campaign event for Republican Rep. Nancy Mace in Summerville, South Carolina on June 12, 2022

Former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley headlines a campaign event for Republican Rep. Nancy Mace in Summerville, South Carolina on June 12, 2022
(UKTN)

Trump has made dozens of endorsements this cycle, and the winning percentage of candidates he has backed in the primaries remains high. But many of those he backed ran in uncontested or non-competitive primaries.

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In competitive racing, Trump has suffered some high-profile losses, in addition to his numerous setbacks in Georgia. While Trump’s endorsements were instrumental in the Ohio Senate and Pennsylvania GOP primaries, gubernatorial candidates the former president endorsed in Idaho and Nebraska both lost .

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