Kemp says he didn't vote for Trump in Georgia primary

KempBrian 072922 AP Megan Varner

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said that he did not vote for President Trump in the Georgia presidential primary in late May.

Kemp in an interview with CNN’s Kaitlin Collins on Wednesday, said he didn’t vote for anyone in the state’s primary because the GOP’s presidential race had already been decided.

“I voted, but I didn’t vote for anybody. I mean, the race was already over when the primary got here,” Kemp told Collins. “Well, it would be, for me, personally, politically, I mean it would be interesting if I had’ve voted for him, it would be interesting if I didn’t, it would be interesting if I didn’t vote at all.” 

Trump won the March 12 Georgia primary, with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley getting 13.2 percent of the vote.

Trump will face off against President Biden on Thursday night in the first presidential debate, which will be held in Atlanta.

Kemp and Trump have had a rocky relationship since Trump’s last year in office. In 2018, Kemp won the governor’s mansion partly because of a Trump endorsement. 

In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, where Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by 12,000 votes, Kemp pointedly pushed back against Trump’s election fraud claims, leading Trump to call him a “clown” and a “fool.” 

Trump supported a primary challenger against Kemp in 2022, but Kemp defeated that challenger, former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).  

During his interview with Collins, Kemp said Trump should not focus on the 2020 or 2022 election during the debate. 

“I think that hurts him with swing voters. I mean from what I’m hearing from people, they are not focused on what happened in 2020 or 2022,” he said. 

Kemp endorsed Trump in March in a short statement, saying, “I think he’d be better than Joe Biden. It’s as simple as that.”

During his interview on Wednesday, he did not explicitly say he would vote for Trump, only saying that he would support the Republican ticket.

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