Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who preceded Mr. Deal as governor, made the case for Mr. Kemp with the president following a cupboard assembly final week. And just some hours later, the president caught a lot of the political world without warning with a tweet in help of Mr. Kemp.
Mr. Trump’s intervention blindsided Republican governors, who’ve grown pissed off over his urge for food for inserting himself in primaries for candidates who could battle within the basic election. And it irritated some White House aides who see Mr. Trump getting used as a device in rivalries that predate his presidency — on this case between Mr. Perdue and Mr. Deal. Many within the West Wing discover little upside to the president taking sides in intraparty contests the place each candidates are Trump loyalists.
But the diploma to which Mr. Trump was pressed into the endorsement was made clear when, instantly after the endorsement, a rally featuring Mr. Kemp and Vice President Pence was scheduled for Saturday in Macon.
By Monday, Mr. Cagle wrote an open letter wherein he stated, “There’s nothing in a Republican primary runoff that’s more crushing than having the president endorse your opponent a week before the election.”
Mr. Cagle complained that Mr. Trump had “decided to do this because some Washington insiders who have weaseled their way into his ear convinced him to make a power play.”
On Tuesday afternoon, at a information convention in Atlanta, Mr. Cagle stated he had been in weekly contact with the White House in pursuit of the president’s endorsement, and that Mr. Trump’s help for Mr. Kemp got here “somewhat out of nowhere.” He stated he had been informed up till Mr. Trump tweeted his endorsement that the president wouldn’t take sides.
Mr. Cagle famous that Mr. Trump’s intervention positioned him in opposition not solely to the state’s sitting Republican governor but in addition to the National Rifle Association, which endorsed Mr. Cagle. The group’s incoming president, Lt. Col. Oliver North, appeared at three rallies for Mr. Cagle a number of days earlier than Mr. Trump’s endorsement.
Beyond the governor’s race, Democrats right here nominated Lucy McBath to tackle Representative Karen Handel, within the suburban district that each events spent tens of millions on in a particular election final yr. And deeper into Atlanta’s exurbs, Democrats selected Carolyn Bourdeaux to problem Representative Rob Woodall, a conservative in his fourth time period. Neither seat ranks among the many Democrats’ most closely focused, however, with their upscale orientation, might develop aggressive.