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Georgia election results: Trump foe Brian Kemp wins primary as Herschel Walker secures GOP Senate nom

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Mo Brooks uses footage of himself in aftermath of mass shooting in campaign ad

Key primaries in several US states today saw high-profile Republican candidates facing off against each other and in some cases trying to triumph over rivals endorsed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, incumbent Governor Brian Kemp won a decisive victory over his main challenger, Trump endorsee David Perdue, whose campaign failed to catch fire despite the ex-president’s interventions. Mr Trump’s former deputy, Mike Pence, campaigned for Mr Kemp.

The state’s GOP senate primary saw the nomination of controversial ex-footballer Herschel Walker, a very popular grassroots figure coaxed into the race by Trump himself whose sometimes erratic behaviour, business dealings and history of personal problems have left some Republicans worried about his general election chances.

And in Alabama, Congressman Mo Brooks hopes to make a comeback in the Republican senate race despite having lost Mr Trump’s endorsement earlier this year. At the time he was sinking in the polls, and also called on his supporters to start “moving on” from the 2020 election, thus provoking Mr Trump’s disdain.

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Progressive state senator to launch campaign aimed at rebuking DCCC chair

Progressives are opening fire on Sean Patrick Maloney, the establishment-aligned chair of the Democrats’ House campaign wing after Mr Maloney declined to run in a congressional seat considered to be at risk in November for the chance instead to run in a seat currently occupied by another Democrat.

New York state Senator Alessandra Biaggi announced on Monday that she was launching a primary campaign against Mr Maloney for the newly redrawn seat. She already has the backing of one New York congressman incensed at Mr Maloney’s apparent willingness to oust another Democratic congressman to save his own skin, and could pick up more endorsements from members of the congressional delegation in days ahead.

The situation is brewing in a troubling manner for Mr Maloney, who as chair of the Democrats’ campaign arm will likely have to face questions about why he chose to battle a Democrat in a midterm election year instead of a Republican.

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Meet Brian Kemp: The man who could deal a blow to Donald Trump in Georgia

Georgia’s Brian Kemp may become known, at least after Tuesday, as the man who did the impossible: Defeat a candidate backed by Donald Trump in a Republican primary in the deep south.

That certainly looks to be the case as the incumbent governor charges into Tuesday’s primary with a double-digit polling lead over David Perdue, the Trump acolyte who looks to be set to deliver the former president his first defeat of the 2022 primary season.

Read more in The Independent:

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Texas primary will test relevance of abortion ruling

A contested primary on the Texas border will test the relevance of abortion as an issue heading in to November’s general elections.

Atypical of a Democratic primary, the battle between Jessica Cisneros and Henry Cuellar, an incumbent congressman, has centered around the issue as Mr Cuellar remains the last anti-abortion Democrat in the House.

The race took on new significance after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked earlier in May indicating that the Court may soon overturn Roe vs Wade.

Read more about the race’s newfound relevance in the Associated Press:

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Who is Herschel Walker, Donald Trump’s man in Georgia?

Herschel Walker remains a favorite to win the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia on Tuesday thanks to his campaign’s ability to coalesce support not only from Mr Trump and his wing of the party but also from establishment figures including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But just who is the three-time Heisman winner, and how did he win Donald Trump’s endorsement in the race to unseat Raphael Warnock?

Read more in The Independent from john Bowden:

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Trump endorsee Perdue takes last-minute hail-mary with racist remarks

David Perdue, the former senator whom Donald Trump backed to take on Brian Kemp in Georgia, looks set to lose heavily in the state’s primary today, but he’s pulling out all the stops in the race’s final hours – and indulging in some old-fashioned racism directed at Stacey Abrams, who’s running for governor on the Democratic side.

This isn’t the first time Mr Perdue has pointed to a candidate of colour’s non-whiteness to draw a contrast. In 2020, as he fought what turned out to be a losing Senate battle against Democrat Jon Ossoff, Mr Perdue took to deliberately mispronouncing Kamala Harris’s name at rallies for comedic effect.

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Who is Herschel Walker?

Georgia’s Republican voters look set to choose as their Senate nominee Herschel Walker, a former NFL player who was already wildly popular before Donald Trump endorsed his campaign.

Mr Walker is polling strongly against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, who was elected in a special election runoff at the start of 2020. However, he has long raised concerns among more establishment-leaning Republicans with his periodically erratic public statements and behaviour, and they also worry his personal baggage may be too much for many general election voters to swallow.

He faces an allegation of domestic violence dating back two decades, when his then-girlfriend told police that he threatened to “blow her head off” during an argument. However, he told Axios last year that he’s “accountable” for his previous violent behaviour.

Read more from John Bowden:

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Who is Brian Kemp?

Georgia’s Brian Kemp may become known, at least after Tuesday, as the man who did the impossible: Defeat a candidate backed by Donald Trump in a Republican primary in the deep south.

That certainly looks to be the case as the incumbent governor charges into Tuesday’s primary with a double-digit polling lead over David Perdue, the Trump acolyte who looks to be set to deliver the former president his first defeat of the 2022 primary season.

Read more from John Bowden.

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Watch: Cruz campaigns for Brooks despite Trump’s un-endorsement

Just as Mike Pence stood up for Brian Kemp in Georgia yesterday in direct opposition to Donald Trump’s endorsement of David Perdue, Texas Senator Ted Cruz hit the trail for Alabama congressman and Senate candidate Mo Brooks, who earlier this year lost the ex-president’s backing after he began to tank in the polls.

Mr Brooks responded by sharing the alarming claim that Mr Trump has repeatedly asked friends and colleagues about the possibility of having himself somehow reinstalled as president between now and the next election.

Here’s video of Mr Cruz standing up for the abandoned representative, who it seems may have made a late rally in the race.

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Oz-McCormick battle moves to the courts

The impossibly close Pennsylvania primary between Dr Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick has taken another turn, with Mr McCormick taking legal action to count mail-in and absentee ballots posted in undated envelopes.

The challenge comes with the two candidates still separated by fewer than 1,000 votes, putting them well within the margin that triggers an automatic recount. That mail-in ballots may put Mr McCormick over the top is not lost on Donald Trump, who has called on his endorsee Dr Oz to prematurely declare victory and thus delegitimise the outstanding votes.

Read more below from Politico.

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Michigan Republicans off ballot thanks to insufficient signatures

The Michigan gubernatorial race is a top target for Republicans, with Democratic incumbent and Trump bete noire Gretchen Whitmer fighting for re-election in a purple state. But the party has hit a major hiccup: several of its candidates have failed to qualify for this August’s primary.

As reported by the Associated Press, the affected candidates include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who has led in primary polling despite campaign problems, and businessman Perry Johnson, who has spent millions of his own money to run. Their election petitions were challenged by Democrats who accused them of mass forgery of the signatures required by law.

Read more:

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