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Mike Collins has won the Republican primary runoff election in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, defeating Trump-backed Vernon Jones for the GOP nomination.
The win for Collins, who had 78% of the vote to Jones’ 24% when the Associated Press called the race, is seen as a loss for former President Donald Trump, who while not on the ballot had his clout with the GOP on the line in the primary runoff.
Trump was supporting Jones, a former state lawmaker and Democrat turned Republican who was a top Black surrogate for the then-president in the Peach State during the 2020 election.
Collins will be considered the favorite against the winner of the Democratic primary runoff in the district, in the race to succeed Republican Rep. Jody Hice, who launched an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia Secretary of State rather than seek re-election.
Collins was endorsed last week by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, just three weeks after Kemp crushed former Sen. David Perdue, who was primary challenging the conservative governor with heavy support from Trump. Kemp topped Perdue by more than 50 points in last month’s Republican gubernatorial primary, which was a stinging defeat for Trump. Kemp had raised Trump’s ire for certifying the then-president’s razor-thin electoral defeat to now-President Biden in Georgia in the 2020 election.
Perdue wasn’t the only high-profile Trump-backed candidate to go down to defeat in Georgia’s primary. Hice lost by double digits to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump had also repeatedly attacked. And Trump backed GOP attorney general challenger John Gordon was demolished by incumbent Chris Carr.
Jones was originally running for governor this cycle, in hopes of landing Trump’s endorsement in the primary against Kemp. But after he endorsed Perdue, the former president convinced Jones to end his gubernatorial bid and instead run for Hice’s open congressional seat. Trump endorsed Jones as he launched his House bid.
The District, which is reliably red, stretches from the exurbs east of Atlanta through rural areas east to the outskirts of August and to the South Carolina border.