From the associated press.
ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp turned back a second electoral challenge from Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, maintaining GOP control in the South’s most politically competitive state and dealing another defeat to the national Democratic star.
“Well, it looks like the reports of my political death have been greatly exaggerated,” Kemp told supporters in a sometimes-defiant victory speech Tuesday night after two years of trouble had threatened to snuff out his reelection bid.
Kemp argued in his victory speech that his campaign, which saw him use the power of his office to shower tax cuts and cash on voters while attacking Abrams for being insufficiently supportive of police, was a recipe for Republican success in Georgia. Democrats believed that an increasing share of nonwhite voters would put them on the path to victory in the state.
“This election proves that when Republicans stay focused on real world solutions that put hard-working people first, we can win now, but also in the future, y’all.” Kemp said.
Abrams cast her campaign as a fight to “save Georgia,” saying the state deserved more, and she touched on key parts of her platform, including voting rights and Medicaid expansion. She said she forced people of all backgrounds to think about change, and she promised to keep up her fight to improve the state, promising that “while we may not write the story today, there will always be another chapter.”
“I may no longer be seeking the office of governor, but I will never stop doing everything in my power to make sure the people of Georgia have a voice.”
Kemp, who was a developer before serving as a state senator and secretary of state, clinched another term despite attacks from former President Donald Trump. Kemp seemed on shaky ground among Republicans after the 2020 presidential election, when Trump blamed him for not doing enough to overturn President Joe Biden’s narrow win in Georgia. Trump helped lure former U.S. Sen. David Perdue into a primary challenge to Kemp, whom he called a “complete and total failure”.
But Kemp motored away from Perdue during the GOP primary, winning nearly 74% of the vote. Kemp patiently explained his election actions to Republicans even as he used his office to sign conservative-pleasing bills loosening gun laws, cutting taxes and banning “divisive concepts” in schools.
Kemp continued to highlight his stewardship of the state economy and his decision to relax public restrictions early in the COVID-19 pandemic in his victory speech.