The 2022 election cycle is well underway, and, on Tuesday, the nation will be watching Georgia in particular. However, President Donald Trump has campaigned for not only Georgia candidates, but for candidates in Alabama and Arkansas as well. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will compete against Doc Washburn in the Arkansas Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, and she’s considered the front runner for her party’s ticket. Sanders is well-known to Arkansans as her father is former Governor Mike Huckabee; plus, she herself had a great deal of exposure working for President Trump. Sanders is leading in fundraising, and most expect her to win the Republican nomination handily.
In Alabama, a seat that will become vacant upon the retiring of Senator Richard Shelby is hotly contested. Representative Mo Brooks was initially endorsed by President Trump – whose endorsement record sits at 85 – 3 with a majority of his endorsements winning their respective primaries – but Trump would later rescind his backing. Now, former Shelby staffer Katie Britt holds the lead in polling, with Brooks and former Army veteran Mike Durant rounding out the contenders for the Senate seat.
Also in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey is on the ballot. Two others are on the ballot looking to grab the Republican nomination. Both Governor Ivey and Lynda Blanchard have attempted to namedrop President Trump. Governor Ivey touted her support of President Trump, but Ms. Blanchard was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia in 2019 by Trump.
However, Georgia’s primary has multiple exciting and closely-watched races as well. First, the race for Georgia’s next governor features a former Senator endorsed by President Trump and the current governor endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. David Purdue is a former United States Senator representing Georgia; he was defeated in the 2020 elections by Jon Osoff in a run-off election. Osoff’s win (as well as Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock’s win over Kelly Loeffler, also a Republica) turned the historically red state blue in 2020 (Georgia’s electoral votes were also awarded to Joe Biden in the general election).
To complicate matters, former gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams is once again running on the Democratic ticket for Georgia’s governorship. Abrams is running unopposed. She will face the winner of the Republican primary in November.
Abrams has been criticized for saying that Georgia is the worst state to live in while she campaigns for governor. Earlier this year, Abrams came under fire for speaking at an elementary school without a mask while the students were mandated to wear one. A picture of Abrams unmasked with the masked children went viral.
Should Kemp win the Republican primary on Tuesday, the general gubernatorial election will be a rematch between Kemp and Abrams. Abrams refused to concede after the final tally of votes was announced, and she made many controversial comments regarding election laws in the state. Georgia requires an identification to vote, something written into law after the 2020 election and accusations of election fraud.
However, Kemp has some hot competition from former senator David Purdue. Purdue has the backing of President Trump, and Trump has campaigned in the state for Purdue. Trump has been a vocal opponent of Governor Kemp after the 2020 election, although Kemp was instrumental in helping to pass legislation that put tighter regulations on mail-in voting and in-person options for voting. Mike Pence will appear in Georgia on Monday to stump for Governor Kemp.
The gubernatorial race isn’t the only Georgia race garnering national attention. Former pro football star and University of Georgia standout Herschel Walker is running in the Republican primary. Should he win Tuesday’s election, Herschel will face Senator Raphael Warnock in the general election in November.
Herschel is running as a Georgia native and a conservative. His primary opponents criticize Walker’s past, as he was treated for Dissociative Identity Disorder after physically assaulting his first wife. Experts traced the disorder back to multiple concussions during Walker’s college and pro football career. In spite of the diagnosis and the assault, Walker has a huge following among Georgia’s Republican voters.