Jun 21, 2022 - News

Trump's last Georgia primary runoff candidates standing

Peach with MAGA hat on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former President Trump has two remaining Congressional candidates — former state Rep. Vernon Jones in the 10th district and Jake Evans in the 6th — competing in primary runoffs today.

What's happening: Trump has made a few last-minute moves on behalf of Jones and Evans, yet going into Election Day, each has been vastly out-fundraised by their respective opponents.

  • Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, took a rare step to endorse Jones' opponent, Mike Collins, last week.

Why it matters: In these two Republican-leaning districts, the GOP primary winners are likely to take office.

Zoom in: While Trump largely stayed out of these races since the May 24 primary, he held a brief tele-rally for Evans on Monday, calling him a "MAGA warrior."

  • His PAC made roughly $10,000 worth of last-minute donations to each candidate for GOTV phone calls and text messages.
  • He also came to Jones' defense in a video message after a barrage of attack ads by his opponent and recorded a robocall.

Catch up quick: In the 10th district, Jones received Trump's support immediately after stepping out of a primary bid against Kemp.

  • Trump held a March fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for Jones, but Collins, a trucking executive (and son of a former Georgia Congressman), has brought in more than twice as much money as Jones.

Meanwhile, in the 6th district, Evans — a Republican attorney and former State Ethics Commission chair whose father served as a Trump-appointed ambassador to Luxembourg — received Trump's backing in May.

  • His opponent, Rich McCormick, a Marine veteran, emergency room physician and 2020 candidate in the 7th district has still raised nearly twice as much money as Evans.

What they're saying: Martha Zoller, a conservative talk show host in North Georgia, said she was surprised Trump hasn’t been more involved because he’s "had his best outcomes, so far, in House and Senate races."

  • After many of Trump's candidates lost handily in the May 24 primary, it "was a signal that Georgia's Republican primary voters were willing to make their own choices," Heath Garrett, a Georgia Republican strategist, told Axios.

The bottom line: Regardless of these runoff outcomes, Trump will still have candidates he’s endorsed competing in the general election alongside candidates he has vowed to defeat.

  • Trump's avowed targets, Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, will be on the ballot alongside Trump's longtime friend Herschel Walker and his chosen candidate for lieutenant governor, Burt Jones.

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