Governor’s race bringing big names to Georgia as GOP candidates fight it out for nomination

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Candidates are in the final stretch of campaigning before the May 24 primaries and many of them are making their last big push before the election.

Gov. Brian Kemp had a rally Tuesday and had former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with him to campaign. Next week, he’ll have former Vice President Mike Pence to stump with him.

Both men shook hands with supporters as Kemp told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot he’s trying to keep his campaign’s energy up with just a week to go before the primary.

“We’ve been trying to keep the energy up. It’s been great, as y’all can see. There’s crowds everywhere we’re going. People fired up and ready to go,” Kemp said.

Christie is just the latest national Republican figure to visit Georgia and campaign for Kemp.

All the figures have been critical of former President Donald Trump and have drawn his criticism in return.

Without mentioning Trump by name, Christie told Elliot he thinks the GOP has to get bigger than Trump or it will lose in November.


“Are we the party of me or are we the party of us? If we’re going to be the party of me, people aren’t going to vote for that party,” Christie said.

Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, tweeted about Christie’s visit Tuesday morning, using it to criticize Kemp.

“Today Chris Christie, who expanded Medicaid, is appearing with Brian Kemp who deprives 500,000 Georgians of Medicaid access and just vetoed access for Georgians living with HIV,” Abrams tweeted.

Before that rally, Elliot spoke with Kemp’s chief GOP rival, David Perdue.

“I don’t think they’ll have any impact at all,” Perdue said.

Perdue criticized Christie and the others and called their appearance in Georgia a sign of Kemp’s weakness, though Kemp continues to lead Perdue in the polls.

“Many of these are failed candidates, you know. The RINOs march a parade into Georgia to, in my opinion, circle the wagons around a very embattled, weak governor,” Perdue said.

On Monday, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Georgia to campaign for Kemp, signaling an even bigger split with the former president.