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Trump Tweets Endorsement of Republican Brian Kemp for Georgia Governor

Trump threw his support behind Kemp, who has been purging voter rolls, over Democrat Stacey Abrams, whom he claimed “would destroy” the state

A man holds a sign at a campaign rally that reads "Trump endorses Kemp"

A man holds a sign during a campaign event

John Bazemore/AP/REX/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump endorsed Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp over Democrat Stacey Abrams in a tweet Saturday morning. Trump had previously endorsed Kemp in the primary, and Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., stumped for Kemp at an October campaign event.

The close race is one of the most-watched in the nation as the candidates appear near neck-and-neck in the polls, with Kemp maintaining a relatively consistent two-point lead over Abrams in recent weeks, within the margin of error.

Trump called Abrams “unqualified” in his tweet endorsing Kemp, despite the fact that Abrams has spent ten years in elected office, most recently as Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011-2017, and has more education than Kemp, including a Master of Public Affairs degree from UT-Austin and a law degree from Yale. Kemp has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia, and Rolling Stone recently called her “the future for Democrats.”

Kemp is responsible for recent purges of voter rolls in Georgia, which he controls as secretary of state — a role that essentially puts Abrams in a “battle against a rival who is also the referee,” as Jamil Smith described in Rolling StoneMost of the 53,000 voters whose registration Kemp placed on hold are African American. Smith also noted that Kemp “has decreased the overall number of voters in Georgia since 2012 by more than 1 million — all while purging the rolls in a way that has predominantly affected black residents.”

Civil rights groups, including the Georgia NAACP, are fighting back against Kemp’s actions and filed a joint lawsuit claiming Kemp’s actions have been “shown to disproportionately and negatively impact the ability of voting-eligible African-American, Latino and Asian-American applicants to register to vote.”

Abrams responded to the president’s tweet with her own, saying, “If success is suppressing eligible voters, leaking our Social Security numbers, and pointing a shotgun at a child on TV, I’ll pass. I’ll take Medicaid expansion, excellent public schools, and good-paying jobs.”

Abrams’s response referred to a pro-gun Kemp campaign ad from May in which the candidate jokingly pointed a shotgun at a teen he introduced as Jake, “a young man interested in one of my daughters.”

In This Article: Brian Kemp, Politics, Stacey Abrams

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