Georgia Governor Brian Kemp makes remarks during a visit to Adventure Outdoors gun shop as he pushes for a new state law t...

Brian Kemp wins Georgia GOP governor’s race against Trump-backed challenger

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has defeated his Donald Trump-backed challenger David Perdue after a furious push by the former president to punish Kemp for not overturning the 2020 election results.

Kemp’s victory on Tuesday sets up another general election race against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was unopposed in her primary. The November rematch of their 2018 contest is likely to be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched.

FOLLOW LIVE: 2022 Georgia Primary Election Results

Perdue was courted by Trump to enter the race as retribution for Kemp not going along with the former president’s effort to overturn his defeat in Georgia’s 2020 election. Perdue embraced Trump’s election lies, opening two debates between the candidates with the claim that the 2020 balloting was “rigged and stolen.” Election officials found no evidence of fraud after multiple reviews.

Kemp survived the challenge by using the power of his incumbency to push a raft of legislation through Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature. He signed measures that cut taxes, allowed people to carry concealed handguns without permits and helped ban transgender girls from high school sports.

The governor also tapped bountiful state coffers to give pay raises for public employees and announced two large electric vehicle factories.

Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Jeff Martin in Woodstock, Georgia, contributed to this report.

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