Round 2: Brian Kemp, Stacey Abrams going head-to-head once again for Georgia governor

ATLANTA — It’s official: The 2022 Georgia gubernatorial election will be a rematch.

Gov. Brian Kemp easily defeated former Sen. David Perdue in the Republican primary Tuesday night. Kemp will now face Democrat Stacey Abrams this fall in what will be one of the nation’s most consequential governor’s races.

Abrams ran unopposed for the Democratic party. ABC News and The Associated Press called Tuesday night’s GOP primary for Kemp over Perdue. As of Wednesday morning, Kemp has 73.69% of the vote compared to Perdue’s 21.80%.

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Perdue announced five months ago he would run for governor with the full endorsement of former president Donald Trump and many immediately considered Perdue the frontrunner and some wrote off Kemp.

However, Kemp didn’t just defeat Perdue Tuesday night, but dominated him. Kemp faced withering criticism from Trump and other Republicans. Kemp rallied his campaign, formed a tight coalition of GOP legislators and chipped away at Perdue to win big Tuesday.

“Even in the middle of a tough primary, conservatives in our state didn’t listen to the noise. They didn’t get distracted. They knew our record of fighting and winning for hardworking Georgians,” Kemp said during his primary election victory speech. “And tonight because of your support, Georgia Republicans went to the ballot box and overwhelmingly endorsed four more years of our vision for this great state.”

Immediately after the race was called, former Senator David Perdue spoke to his supporters and conceded the race. Perdue told people that Kemp is a better choice than Abrams.

“I want you to know tonight that I’m fully supporting Brian in his run to beat Stacey Abrams,” Perdue said. “Everything that I said about Brian is true, but here’s what else I said. He is a much better choice than Ms. Stacey Abrams.”

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Abrams ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket for governor. Channel 2 Action News caught up with Abrams before the polls closed.

Abrams told us that she is ready for whomever she would face.

“I’ve listed to Republicans for the last six months attack me but they’ve done nothing to attack the challenges facing Georgia. They’ve done nothing to articulate their plans for the future of Georgia,” Abrams said.

Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election, but became a leading national Democratic voice as a voting rights activist. She also cast the rematch as a stark choice, saying she was seeking to improve problems including a lack of health care, poor education and lagging wages.

“I’m running because I believe in one Georgia. Whether it is bringing together neighborhoods, bringing together counties or bringing together an entire state. Our responsibility is to see the needs of every Georgian,” she told Channel 2.

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