Kemp, who soundly defeated Trump-endorsed challenger, former Sen. David Perdue, in Georgia’s May 24 gubernatorial primary, announced Thursday he was backing trucking company owner Mike Collins in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff in the 10th District. Collins’s opponent is former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, a former Democrat endorsed by Trump who was previously a member of the state House in Georgia. With the district drawn to elect Republicans easily, the winner is expected to cruise to victory in November.
“I’m proud to endorse Mike Collins to be the next congressman for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District,” Kemp said in a statement. “I will be casting my ballot for Mike Collins in the June 21st GOP runoff, and I ask fellow Republicans across the district to join me in sending a trusted conservative to Washington!”
Collins outpaced Jones 26% to 22% in the May 24 primary but finished short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. He has since picked up endorsements from Republicans who failed to advance to the runoff and would appear to have an edge in the Tuesday contest to pick a GOP nominee in the 10th District. The district, an expansive rural bastion situated east of Atlanta, is held by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state.
Trump’s overall record in Republican primaries across the country is stellar, with the former president racking up more victories this past Tuesday in GOP nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina.
But Trump’s effort to reshape Republican politics in Georgia has been a resounding failure.
In the May 24 primaries, candidates endorsed by the former president came up short in contests for governor, attorney general, insurance commissioner, and secretary of state. In that contest, Hice lost to incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The 10th Congressional District GOP runoff could be yet another defeat for Trump.
Jones was originally running for governor but dropped out of the gubernatorial primary to give Perdue a clearer shot at ousting Kemp.
Trump’s endorsements in contests in Georgia stem from his unsupported claims that President Joe Biden’s victory in the state in 2020 was fraudulent and that Republicans in Atlanta did nothing to uncover the plot and overturn the results.