ATLANTA — A list of some of Georgia’s biggest power players have all thrown their hat into the race for the Georgia governor’s office.
Governor Brian Kemp, former Senator David Perdue and Vernon Jones are vying for the Republican nomination. Stacey Abrams is so far the only Democrat to announce her campaign.
Former President Donald Trump has thrown his support for the race to Perdue. He released a statement on Monday praising the former senator while slamming both Kemp and Abrams.
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Channel 2′s Matt Johnson spoke with voters and experts alike. He says in the few hours sine Perdue’s Monday morning announcement, he’s heard a wide variety of adjectives and conflicting opinions to describe the race.
“I want somebody that’s going to stand up and be strong,” said voter William Cavender.
Cavender, a Republican from Troup County, says he could see himself voting for Kemp, but isn’t ruling out other options.
“He is standing against the mandate. Um, I do want to hear what Perdue has to say,” he told Johnson.
Cavender adds that he is wary about re-electing Kemp after the 2020 election.
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The debate between Kemp and Perdue is one that experts expect to lead to a bruising Republican primary.
“As the parties get more homogenous, there’s less and less policy differences to argue about, and so there’s more and more personal attacks,” said University of North Georgia professor Carl Cavalli.
“The one great catalyst here is going to be Stacey Abrams. I mean, I think that scares enough Republicans for them to get over any hurt feelings about this primary at the end of the day,” said Jay Williams with political marketing firm, the Stoneridge Group.
Some Republicans, though, are concerned about their chances against Abrams in a general election.
“There are going to be people who are so hurt that they’re not going to come out for the general. That’s what we’re setting up here,” said Leo Smith, with the Engaged Futures Group.
Whichever Republican candidate ends up in the General Election, many expect battle lines to be drawn based on two things.
“Do you want to look... to the last election and relitigate that or do we want to look forward to what we can offer here in 2022?” Gabe Hartwig with the Atlanta Young Republicans told Johnson.
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Abrams’ campaign manager issued a statement on Monday indicating that they would let Kemp and Perdue battle between themselves, saying, “While David Perdue and Brian Kemp fight each other, Stacey Abrams will be fighting for the people of Georgia.”
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