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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, easily overcoming a challenge from former Sen. David Perdue in a stinging setback for Donald Trump.

The former US president had sought to oust Kemp as part of his post-presidential crusade to punish anyone he blames for his 2020 defeat.

The Associated Press declared Kemp the winner of Perdue, whom Trump personally courted to run against Kemp, after the governor refused to overturn the results of Georgia’s presidential election – a contest that several critics say has was won by Joe Biden.

By contrast, Perdue has embraced Trump’s myth of a stolen election, but a recent poll showed him far behind the incumbent governor, whose conservative agenda has drawn support from many big donors and political leaders in the state.

In another Trump defeat in the state, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr rebuffed a challenge from John Gordon, who has made Trump’s stolen election mythos a central part of his campaign.

Kemp will now face Democrat Stacey Abrams, setting the stage for a rematch of their showdown in 2018, when she narrowly lost the governorship but became a rising star on the left and a prominent suffrage advocate. Georgia’s gubernatorial race is expected to be one of the fiercest contests of the cycle.

Once a staunch Republican, Abrams is credited as a key architect of the party’s expansion of electoral power in Georgia, which culminated in the election last year of two Democratic senators.

In a sign that not every race was against Trump in the state, former football star Herschel Walker won the Republican Senate nomination in what is already shaping up to be a marquee race that could determine control of the equally divided room.

Riding on Trump’s endorsement and his own stardom in a state where football often seems to reign supreme, Walker managed to deflect questions about his academic and business accomplishments and a history of abuse against his ex-wife. Walker, who is black, will face incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, a longtime civil rights champion and the state’s first black senator who is running for a full term after winning the seat in a special election in 2021. .

In the northwest corner of the state, far-right MP Marjorie Taylor Greene swept to victory in a primary that tested Tories’ tolerance for her extremist politics, a week after the North Carolina voters ousted her ideological ally, Congresswoman Madison Cawthorn. .

Trump’s efforts to get revenge on Republicans who did not bend to his will in 2020 extend to a much-watched run for secretary of state in which the incumbent, Brad Raffensperger, takes on a Trump ally.

Georgia is one of several states holding primary elections on Tuesday.

In Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a former White House press secretary under Trump, secured the Republican nomination in the race to become the state’s next governor. She is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas for a decade.

Meanwhile, in Texas, George P Bush, the former president’s nephew, failed to defeat embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton in a race that tested the strength of the political dynasty. of the Bush family. Paxton, who was endorsed by Trump after leading an unsuccessful lawsuit asking the US Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election, is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation related to allegations of corruption and , separately, was indicted in 2015 for securities fraud.

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