Pence Enters Campaign on Wrong Side of Trump

Former vice president to appear in Georgia for Gov. Brian Kemp, while Trump backs David Perdue
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Pence Enters Campaign on Wrong Side of Trump
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a primary debate on May 1 in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool, File)

Mike Pence is joining other national Republican figures supporting Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in his reelection campaign. But the name that stands out is a national Republican who opposes Kemp: former President Trump. In another indicator of the break between Trump and his former vice president, Kemp's campaign announced Friday that Pence will attend a rally for the governor on May 24, the day before the GOP primary, NPR reports. Trump has endorsed former Sen. David Perdue. "Brian Kemp is one of the most successful conservative governors in America," Pence said in a statement.

Kemp had Trump's support in his first campaign for governor, in 2018. But the former president has been deriding him since the 2020 election, when Kemp refused to try to overturn Georgia's election results at Trump's request. The former president hasn't stopped at trying to unseat Kemp; he's helped put together a list of candidates challenging allies of Kemp on this year's ballot, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Republicans critical of Trump have thrown their support to Kemp, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former President George W. Bush.

Kemp is well ahead in polls, so Perdue's best shot would be to force a runoff, which would happen if Kemp wins but receives less than half of the vote. Perdue also hasn't come up with the financial resources to keep up with Kemp. Given the Trump situation—the former president called Kemp "a complete and total disaster"—the governor's team wants to put together a resounding defeat of Perdue, not just a victory. Kemp said Friday that Pence's "commitment to building a safer, stronger America represents the highest ideals of our party." (More Mike Pence stories.)

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