GOP Gov. Kemp Set To Defy Trump On Senate Appointment

A view of the Election Night event for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp at the Classic Center on November 6, 2018 in Athens, Georgia.  Kemp is in a close race with Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Brian Kemp (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has told Republican officials that he intends to go against President Trump’s wishes when it comes to selecting who should take over the state’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat.

According to a Politico report Sunday, three sources said that Kemp plans to appoint businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), which goes against Trump’s preference for Kemp to choose Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) — a staunch ally to the President and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

An aide to a House Republican from Georgia told Politico that Kemp gave members of Georgia’s Republican congressional delegation a heads up on his decision over the weekend. It is currently unclear when Kemp will make his announcement, but party officials have begun preparing a public rollout, according to Politico.

Last week, Politico reported that Kemp believes that Loeffler can help staunch the flow of suburban and female voters fleeing the party. When Kemp took Loeffler to the White House late last month to meet with Trump, the President reportedly brought up concerns that Loeffler is not experienced enough in politics to receive the appointment. Trump also took issue with how Loeffler did not originally back his 2016 campaign.

On Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) threatened Kemp with a primary challenger in 2022 if he does not select Collins for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat.

Read Politico’s report here.

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