Today, former vice president Mike Pence announced that he will hold a rally with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on the eve of the state’s contested May 24 GOP gubernatorial primary.
Former vice president Mike Pence’s decision to campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp (R) ahead of Georgia’s May 24 primary is the latest sign that the Peach State is a central battleground in the Republican civil war over Donald Trump’s influence.
Pence, himself a former governor, will come down to Georgia on May 23, as Kemp appears on the verge of a rout.
Republicans who reject Trump’s hold over the party are rushing to shore up his campaign. Former president George W. Bush will appear at a fundraiser for Kemp, while former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will also show up for him on the trail.
In November, Pence made clear at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association that he’d be “supporting incumbent governors” from primary challengers, a preview to his larger push to thwart Trump’s vendettas.
Kemp is a strong bulwark to that end. In Georgia, he’s seen as a committed conservative who has passed a flurry of laws tightening election laws, restricting discussion of systemic racism and history in schools, and allowing for the carrying of firearms without a permit, among other Republican priorities.