Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal acolytes, threatened Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) with a primary challenger in 2022 should he not select Trump’s preferred candidate for a soon-to-be-open Senate seat.
You are ignoring his request because you THINK you know better than @POTUS.
If you substitute your judgement for the President’s, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump https://t.co/vtjT4CyLMI
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 29, 2019
It is not clear from where Gaetz, a congressman from Florida, gets the authority to threaten the Georgia governor with a primary.
Kemp wants to pick businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who is retiring at the end of the year. According to Politico, Kemp thinks that Loeffler can help staunch the flow of suburban voters fleeing the party.
Trump, and by extension, Gaetz, wants Kemp to pick Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) instead, a much more diehard MAGA type.
Kemp is also taking heat from pro-lifers angry that Loeffler served on the board of directors for Grady Memorial Hospital, the biggest in the state. Though the hospital does not perform elective surgeries, Loeffler’s detractors object to the fact that some doctors associated with the hospital perform them.
Per Politico, Kemp tried to sell Trump on Loeffler during a quiet White House meeting over the weekend. The President reportedly brought up many objections, including that the first-time candidate would be a riskier option than more seasoned politicians in the state.
Per his tweet, Kemp will make his decision after the holiday.
The attacks and games are absolutely absurd. Frankly, I could care less what the political establishment thinks. Happy Thanksgiving! More information after the holiday! (2 of 2) #gapol
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 27, 2019