Kemp Thanks Trump After Surge to Victory in Georgia

The secret recording also helped
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2018 12:47 AM CDT
Trump-Endorsed Kemp Wins Georgia GOP Runoff
Georgia Republican gubernatorial runoff candidate Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle speaks to reporters after conceding the election to Secretary of State Brian Kemp during his election-night watch party, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

With a damning secret recording of his opponent and a late endorsement from President Trump's White House, Secretary of State Brian Kemp won a decisive victory Tuesday in the Republican runoff for Georgia governor. A self-described "unapologetic conservative" whose campaign ran an eyebrow-raising ad that said he could use his own pickup truck to "round up criminal illegals," Kemp rode conservatives' contempt for the establishment to capitalize on his bare-knuckled, outsider politics, the AP reports. He now faces Democrat Stacey Abrams, who could become the country's first black female governor.

Kemp thanked supporters at a party in his hometown of Athens, Ga., and he credited Trump's backing for sealing his win. "They poured gasoline in the fire and fueled the Kemp surge to victory," Kemp said. Kemp portrayed the race against Abrams as a battle with the "radical left" as Georgia's future hangs in the balance. Kemp beat once heavily favored Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who outraised Kemp more than 2-to-1 and had endorsements from establishment Republicans including outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal. Cagle began to lose ground after the release of a secret recording in June in which he says he helped pass a "bad public-policy" bill for political gain.

(Read more Georgia stories.)

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