In a clear breakup from Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday announced that he will campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp in his reelection bid in Georgia, where the former president has endorsed former Sen. David Perdue in the closely watched primary.
Pence announced he will participate in a May 23 get-out-the-vote rally with Kemp before Georgia’s May 24 gubernatorial primary.
Trump on Wednesday released a statement criticizing Kemp and his supporters, saying, “Today, the worst ‘election integrity’ Governor in the country, Brian Kemp, loaded the great state of Georgia up with RINOs,” or “Republicans in name only.”
But Pence fired back saying that Kemp is “dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia” and “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.”
“He built a safer and stronger Georgia by cutting taxes, empowering parents and investing in teachers, funding law enforcement, and standing strong for the right to life,” Pence said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia!”
As noted by the Journal-Constitution, “Trump has put Kemp at the top of his revenge list, falsely blaming him for his 2020 election defeat. His vendetta has spread beyond the governor, too, as he’s built a pro-Trump slate of candidates who are challenging Kemp allies down the ballot.”
The Republican primary winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a 2018 bid for the same office, in November. The Cook Political Report rates the Georgia race a toss-up.