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GOP Consolidates Behind Nominee Brian Kemp

On July 19th, this editorialist recommended that Casey Cagle "pick up the phone and tell Brian Kemp that [he] will no longer be a candidate in the race for the governorship" of the state of Georgia. However, this scenario didn't play out, and Kemp, then the frontrunner in the polls, was forced to undergo a primary.

Gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp (R)

However, for Kemp, currently the Georgia secretary of state, the final result was merrier than the one that I envisioned. He took almost 70% of the electorate, losing only two small counties to Cagle, the Georgia lieutenant governor: Monroe and Stephens.

In Monroe County, Cagle led by just 78 votes.

Primary election map (source: POLITICO)

To put it in perspective, Kemp crushed Cagle by 38.8 points statewide and came within 80 votes of winning all but one county. Kemp even won "Cagle’s native Hall County, where his family has lived for generations, by 12 percentage points," according to The New York Times.

These results served as a rude awakening for the Georgia establishment, which quickly jumped on the Kemp bandwagon (perhaps for its own survival). In the past several days, prominent elected officials in the state and federal governments have consolidated behind Kemp, offering words of support for the newly-minted nominee.

Governor Nathan Deal (R-Georgia), who endorsed and strongly backed Cagle, offered Kemp his full support in the general election:

Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia), a staunch conservative who is allied with the president in Washington, also chimed in. He wrote,

The president himself, who endorsed Kemp in the primary, congratulated the victor and explained that Stacey Abrams, the Democrat nominee, is a "open border, crime loving opponent" who is "weak on Vets, the Military and the 2nd Amendment":

Kemp also identified the significance of the general election, briskly -- yet fully -- analyzing the stark choice that Georgia will have to make on November 6th:

Stacey Abrams wants to raise your taxes, grow state government, and turn Georgia into the next California. As governor, I will cap spending, reform state government, grow your paycheck, and put hardworking Georgians first.

Deal, Perdue, Trump, and Kemp all hit the nail squarely on the head.

The 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia is a battle between Kemp, who will keep the state "headed in the right direction," and Abrams, who would destroy its business climate with dangerous progressive policies. She seeks to expand regulations to reduce "workplace inequality"; expand Medicaid, which has shown itself to be incapable of reaching the people who need it; repeal $330 million in tax cuts; and maintain the welfare state in Georgia.

According to the RGA, Abrams voted "against income tax reductions, against freezing property taxes, and against a state constitutional amendment to ban income tax hikes."

Stacey Abrams

Abrams isn't just bad for Georgia's economy: Her past has shown her to be thoroughly unqualified for the office that she seeks.

First of all, Abrams is in debt for $200,000, making it clear that she will be unable to effectively manage Georgia's pocketbook if elected (this naiveté regarding spending could explain her big government ambitions).

$50,000 of Abrams' debt comes from unpaid back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a CNN report.

Secondly, according to Newsmax's John Havick, Abrams has shown herself to be unable to root out government corruption. In Atlanta, she oversaw a disputed mayoral election that was decided by less than a thousand votes, and the matter is still under investigation.

Also while in Atlanta, where she served as deputy attorney, Abrams showed herself to be a puppet of the status quo by refusing to tackle corruption.

Eventually, the stench of the Atlanta swamp became so pungent that the U.S. attorney had to get involved. Bribery and obstruction of justice were uncovered, thoroughly staining the reputation of the city government.

Kemp, far from being a corrupt progressive, is a small business-owning outsider who held his victory party in Athens rather than Atlanta. He beat out an establishmentarian for the nomination, and it is essential that Georgia continues the trend and sends him to the governorship.