- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 26, 2022

Former President Trump told a crowd gathered at a rally in Georgia that he is the true winner of the 2020 election and blamed the state’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who he is working to help defeat in a May 24 primary.

Mr. Trump held the rally in Commerce, 70 miles northeast of Atlanta, to help boost Mr. Kemp’s Republican opponent, former Sen. David Perdue who is lagging consistently in the polls behind Mr. Kemp.

 As he has done in nearly every public appearance this year, Mr. Trump suggested he is going to run for office in 2024, but stopped short of an official declaration. 

“The truth is, I ran twice, I won twice, and I did much better the second time,” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “And now we just may have to do it again.”

Mr. Trump has been determined to defeat Mr. Kemp since 2020, when Mr. Kemp refused to call a special legislative session to consider overturning the state’s election certification declaring Mr. Biden the winner. 

Mr. Trump blamed Mr. Kemp for crime in the state and for denying Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood a vote on becoming an independent city, which residents sought in order to improve public safety.

“Your state is in criminal anarchy, because you have a lousy governor,” Mr. Trump told the crowd.

Mr. Perdue endorses Mr. Trump’s claim that the election fraud in Georgia enabled Mr. Biden’s narrow 2020 victory in the state. Mr. Biden won the state by fewer than 12,000 votes. 

Mr. Perdue lost his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a 2021 runoff.

He appeared on the stage before Mr. Trump’s arrival and told the crowd, “In the state of Georgia, thanks to Brian Kemp, our elections in 2020 were absolutely stolen.”

Mr. Trump has endorsed dozens of 2022 candidates but Mr. Perdue is considered the highest profile nod. 

Despite Mr. Trump’s support, Mr. Perdue has failed to overtake Mr. Kemp, who has maintained a significant and consistent lead in the polls.

A Fox News poll released March 8 showed Mr. Kemp with an 11 point lead over Mr. Perdue. 

While he has not endorsed decertifying the 2020 election results, Mr. Kemp signed a new law in 2021 aimed at bolstering election integrity and limiting voter fraud. 

In addition to Mr. Perdue, the former president is endorsing a slate of other GOP candidates in Georgia. The list includes Republican Herschel Walker, who is running for Senate and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an embattled Republican House freshman who was stripped of her committee assignments by Democrats and who is seeking a second term.

Mr. Trump is also endorsing Burt Jones, a Republican candidate seeking to defeat the incumbent GOP Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, who has criticized Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump also endorsed Rep. Jody Rice, who is challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Both Mr. Duncan and Mr. Raffensperger opposed decertifying Georgia’s 2020 election results but  Mr. Raffensperger is currently investigating evidence of 2020 election fraud.

Mr. Trump predicted the GOP would prevail in the 2022 midterm election, but would first have to prevail against Republicans in Name Only, otherwise known as RINOS. 

“We first have to defeat the RINO sellouts and the losers in the primary this spring,” Mr. Trump said. 

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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