Kemp backs Collins against Trump-endorsed opponent in Georgia House primary runoff
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) endorsed Republican congressional candidate Mike Collins on Thursday in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District primary runoff.
The endorsement marks another break between Kemp and former President Trump, who has endorsed Vernon Jones in the runoff election taking place on Tuesday.
“As a conservative small businessman, Mike knows firsthand how the disastrous policies of the Biden administration are hurting hardworking Georgians and communities all across our state,” Kemp said in the endorsement announcement. “Mike is strongly pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and will fight hard to put Georgians first in Congress.”
No candidate received a majority of the votes in last month’s primary, which automatically triggered the runoff election.
Collins earned 25.6 percent of the vote in the initial primary, leading Jones by 4.1 percentage points, or roughly 4,600 votes.
Despite not earning Trump’s endorsement, Collins, the son of the late congressman Mac Collins (R-Ga.), has framed himself as a pro-Trump outsider. He has also highlighted his ownership of a trucking company.
Jones, a former state representative, had mounted an early primary challenge to Kemp in this year’s gubernatorial election.
But he dropped out of the race in February after Trump urged him to run for a House seat or another statewide office instead, promising an endorsement.
Kemp ultimately won last month’s Republican gubernatorial primary in a landslide, beating former Sen. David Perdue (Ga.), who was also backed by Trump.
The 10th District is currently represented by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who opted against seeking reelection to the seat as he mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).
The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face the winner of the Democratic runoff, also scheduled for Tuesday.
The district, which includes Athens, Ga., and other areas east of Atlanta, leans heavily Republican.
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