On Saturday, a rally headlined by former US President Donald Trump will be held on Banks County Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, located in a northwestern region of Georgia, which Trump won by more than 60 points in November 2020.
Former U.S. Senator David Perdue (R.GA), who hopes to replace the current governor, Brian Kemp (R), will address the gathering along with Senate candidates Herschel Walker and former state Rep. Vernon Jones, as well as other guests.
Kemp has been an increasingly sought-after target for Trump after the 2020 election. According to Kemp, Joe Biden won the state narrowly in the end “by a whisker”–following two recounts in the closest of any of the state races in 2020. But Trump has alleged massive fraud took place in the state.
Trump announced his support of Perdue in his primary challenge against Kemp last December, almost immediately following which Perdue began his campaign. He has frequently claimed that Georgia’s 2020 election was “stolen” and “rigged” and has also criticized Kemp for running an election that he believes was marred by an unjust and fraudulent voting process.
Former President Trump is placing a lot of faith in Perdue and has consistently released public statements supporting Perdue's candidacy as well as throwing in his weight to uphold other Georgia candidates who are aligned with his goal of overthrowing Kemp and his allies.
Donald Trump Jr. was seen on the trail supporting Perdue at the beginning of the month. And the former president hosted an event for high-end supporters of Perdue at Mar-a-Lago within the last week–from which Perdue's campaign stated they expected to raise over half a million dollars. In a lengthy speech following the event, Trump released a bulleted list of his complaints against Kemp in relation to the 2020 presidential election.
“A vote for RINO Brian Kemp in this primary is a vote for Governor Stacey Abrams. A vote for David Perdue is a vote to save Georgia from the Radical Left!” Trump said, referring to Democrat voter-rights activist Abrams, who barely lost to Kemp in Georgia's 2018 governorship race and is currently running for a second time.
Perdue, who has to date been in the lead ahead of Kemp in the primary polls, has joined forces in a unified front with Trump in supporting his views about the 2020 election; he has made Trump's support prominent in his campaign in order to inspire Trump's supporters to vote in the primary.
Walker, an ex-University of Georgia football star and Heisman Trophy winner, is well positioned in the polls to be the winner of his Senate primary. Walker is also supported by Trump and is getting ready for a fierce and costly general election race against the incumbent senator, Raphael Warnock (D.GA).
Vernon Jones, an ardent Trump fan who converted from a Democrat into a Republican in 2021, had originally planned to participate in the gubernatorial primaries against Perdue and Kemp. Trump had a hand in persuading Jones to withdraw from the race and instead move into a congressional contest, and he is expected to strengthen his support of Perdue. Jones quit the race for governor in February of this year, shortly after a Fox News report that Jones had been in contact with Trump and the former president had offered his backing for a run in Congress if Jones decided to go that route.
Two of Trump's recent endorsements, as well as less-well-known ones, followed similar patterns in terms of timing. Patrick Witt dropped out of the Tenth Congressional District race to instead run for the position of Insurance Commissioner. He also gave his backing to Jones for the district's competitive primary race, after Jones decided to run for the district rather than for governor. He was endorsed by Trump just three days later.
A lawyer by the name of John Gordon announced on March 16 that he would launch a last-minute challenge to unseat Attorney General Chris Carr, an ally of Kemp’s. In the declaration, Gordon zeroed in on 2020, stating that “Georgia's last election was rife with fraud, fraud that cost President Trump his victory.” The following week, Trump announced his endorsement of Gordon and also criticized Carr as “doing absolutely nothing to stop the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud.”
Witt and Gordon also plan to speak at Trump's rally on Saturday.
Alongside Perdue, Walker, Jones, Witt, and Gordon, state Rep. Burt Jones, who is running for the position of lieutenant governor of Georgia against Senate Vice President Butch Miller, will also address the gathering and will be joined by the Trump-backed Rep. Jody Hice (R.GA).
Hice is running against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who drew possibly the biggest ire of any Georgia official following the 2020 election due to his poor management of allegations of election fraud. Raffensperger was chair of the state's five-member State Elections Board when the board changed voting methods in 2020 due to a surge in coronavirus cases and legal pressure from Democrats.
Alongside Trump's seven endorsements, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R.GA) and Andrew Clyde (R.GA) are scheduled to also speak at the event, along with Trump’s former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, Tom Homan, and conservative commentator Todd Starnes.
The event is scheduled to start at 4:00 P.M., with Trump making his remarks at 7:07 P.M.
Kemp, who is wrapping up the current legislative session that ends March 31, plans to speak Saturday morning at a breakfast hosted by the Columbia County Republican Party. Hice will also attend the event.