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Trump’s bid to reshape GOP faces hurdles in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) – Donald Trump hopes to avoid a stinging defeat in the Georgia governor’s race as Republican primary voters decide the fate of the former president’s hand-picked candidate to lead one of the most competitive political battlegrounds in the United States (US).

In all, five states are voting, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota. But none has been more consumed by Trump and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen than Georgia.

After incumbent GOP Governor Brian Kemp refused to accept Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, he sought retribution by personally recruiting former Republican Senator David Perdue to mount a primary challenge.

But that may prove to be a bad bet as Kemp has emerged as a powerful fundraiser who has tapped into the benefits of incumbency. In the final days of the campaign, he unveiled a USD5.5 billion, 8,100-job Hyundai Motor plant near Savannah.

On the eve of the election, Perdue’s allies were bracing for a lopsided defeat, the only question being whether Kemp would win the 50 per cent majority he needs to avoid a run-off election next month.

“We’re not going to have a runoff,” said longtime Republican activist Matha Zoller. “It’s going to be embarrassing.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a rally. PHOTO: AP