- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida on Tuesday declared dead the political career of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on the eve of the latter announcing his pick to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson.

One of President Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress, Mr. Gaetz called out Mr. Kemp on Twitter amid both Republicans remaining at odds over the senator’s replacement.

On Wednesday, Mr. Kemp is expected to formally name financial executive Kelly Loeffler to Mr. Isakson’s seat rather than President Trump’s reportedly preferred pick, Rep. Doug Collins.

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Mr. Isakson is leaving the Senate at the end of this year due to ongoing health problems.

Reacting on Twitter to details about Mr. Kemp’s planned announcement, Mr. Gaetz tweeted: “Governor Kemp announces the funeral time & location for his political career.”

A spokesperson for the governor’s office did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. Kemp, Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Trump recently met at the White House to discuss Mr. Isakson’s successor, but that it “turned tense and ended quickly” amid a conversation in which the president is said to have pushed for Mr. Collins, a Georgia Republican also among the president’s strongest supporters in the House.

Mr. Gaetz has publicly pressed Mr. Kemp in the interim to appoint Mr. Collins, reasoning that the governor is “ignoring” and “hurting” the president and accordingly risks facing a Republican challenger if and when he runs for re-election.

“If you substitute your judgement [sic] for the President’s, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump,” Mr. Gaetz tweeted last week.

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