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Trump's visit to Georgia: Walker's debut, GOP feuding and Kemp's problem

Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

“Your election law is no good,” Trump told Fredericks.

Walker’s quasi debut

The former football star has waged an unconventional campaign banking on his celebrity since entering the race last month.

He’s avoided GOP rallies, refused most media interviews and declined to comment on the hottest topics in Republican politics. Instead, he’s spent his first days attending private campaign fundraisers, standing on the sidelines of football games and doing friendly appearances on Fox News.

He might be able to afford to take that approach because of his high name ID and endorsement from Trump, but that could change as he faces more attacks from GOP rivals. And Walker is beginning to step out on the campaign trail more.

Over the past week, he started a no-frills listening tour that included visits to a school and a charity group. And Saturday, for the first time since joining the contest, Walker will deliver a political speech before a large crowd.

While it’s not expected to be a revelatory exploration of his policy ideas — and it will take place before thousands of friendly supporters — his remarks could shed more light on his strategy and agenda.

The pro-Trump slate

Walker won’t be the only Georgia candidate in the spotlight. The president is set to promote other members of his ticket. That includes Burt Jones, a state senator running for lieutenant governor, and U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who is challenging Raffensperger.

 

Trump’s blessing is valuable currency in a GOP primary where his influence still matters. But it’s a dream for Democrats who flipped last year’s elections with the help of anti-Trump sentiment from swing voters and liberals who might normally skip votes.

A Trump surprise

Former Democrat Vernon Jones is sure to use a speaking slot at the rally to tie himself to Trump now that he’s rebranded himself a far-right conservative in a long-shot challenge to Kemp.

But Trump didn’t seem to know Jones was even in the race, let alone endorse him, in the Thursday interview. (“We’ll see who’s going to be running against Kemp, but I would imagine somebody will,” he said.)

Will the former president step up his efforts to seek a stronger challenger to Kemp?

What could be more interesting is whether Trump boosts other down-ticket candidates. State Sen. Brandon Beach, a onetime hopeful in the 6th Congressional District, has been showing up at “Trump Won” events and courting his support. And a host of other GOP candidates for state and federal office are eager for the former president’s blessing.

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