Chaos, Infighting, and Extremism: Ahead of Georgia’s GOP Convention, Here’s a Reminder of How Trump’s Leadership Left Georgia’s GOP in Shambles

Ahead of members of the Georgia Republican Party gathering for their state convention, DNC spokesperson Jackie Bush released the following statement: 

“Tomorrow, Trump’s Georgia GOP allies will convene in Columbus, GA. The only thing weirder than so many extremists in one place over the course of two days is how quiet Georgia Republicans have been about their party’s biggest event of the year. Maybe it’s because they’ve spent the last year drowning in legal bills, at odds with their own fellow MAGA governor, and ousting members of their state party’s leadership team. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has yet to implement any semblance of a ground game in Georgia. While Trump blows off Georgia voters, President Biden is committed to earning Georgians’ votes as he delivers a winning agenda and continues to expand his presence across the state.”

Donald Trump has left the Georgia GOP fractured and in disarray.

Washington Post: “At the fundraiser, second vice chair David Cross said the state party needed help and had been abandoned by Kemp. ‘I know I’m going to get in trouble for this, but our general has not lifted a finger to help the Georgia GOP,’ Cross said to cheers.

“Kemp fell out with the state party over the alternate-elector plan, the party’s claims of a stolen election and Shafer’s support for Trump even as he slashed Kemp and other Georgia Republicans. Kemp’s allies in the state legislature created a new type of political committee with no contribution limits, effectively empowering Kemp to bypass the official state party in fundraising and election spending.”

“Watson, along with another prominent Republican, said donors were less interested now in giving to the state party because of perceptions that Trump’s fraud claims suppressed Republican turnout in the 2021 U.S. Senate runoffs.” 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “With many mainstream Republicans following Gov. Brian Kemp’s lead and steering clear of the organization, a MAGA-friendly activist base led by former state Sen. Josh McKoon has taken the reins of the party.

“On his watch, the party has tried to restore ties with state leaders while steering more than $1.8 million toward the legal defense of a trio of party figures charged in the Fulton County election interference case.

“But that hasn’t quelled the feuding within the party.”

Trump is making it clear he’s taking Georgia voters for granted as he still has virtually no presence on the ground in a state he desperately needs.

Washington Post: “The shift comes as President Biden’s campaign and its allies, buoyed by incumbency, have been moving in the opposite direction, building a more expansive operation sooner than in 2020.”

“The situation has alarmed GOP officials in key states like Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, who have yet to receive promised funding, staff or even briefings on the new plans since the Trump team took control of the Republican National Committee in March. An earlier party blueprint for a general election build-out has been discarded, party officials say. Plans to open new offices have been scuttled. Hiring has been slowed.

“‘In order to win close elections in Georgia, you have to have a ground game that emphasizes turning out early votes and absentee votes,’ said Cody Hall, a senior adviser to Gov. Brian Kemp (R). ‘I have seen no evidence of them having any of that. The Trump campaign has a consultant in Georgia, but there is nothing else that I can see. … Everyone is generally concerned.

“The original RNC plan for the state of Georgia, reviewed by The Washington Post, called for hiring 12 regional field directors in April and 40 field organizers by the end of May, in addition to eventually opening 20 offices and a community center in the College Park, a mostly Black suburb of Atlanta.”

Just last week, the Georgia GOP’s infighting hit new levels when they forced out a member of their leadership.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The latest came Friday when party activists voted to strip first vice chair Brian Pritchard of his leadership post after a judge ruled he voted illegally nine times while serving probation for a felony check forgery sentence.

“Though the vote was overwhelming, Pritchard framed himself as a political martyr and complained that party leaders ‘marched’ him out of the meeting after he lost the vote. He still plans to attend the convention on Friday.

“McKoon said Pritchard was escorted out after he tried to hold an unauthorized news conference outside the meeting with an unnamed ally who was ‘trespassing on private property.’

“He also said he hopes to release a video and transcript of the meeting ‘so people can judge for themselves what took place.’”

Georgia’s own Republican first lady refused to endorse Trump, despite her husband already pledging his support for the former president:

WABE: “Georgia first lady Marty Kemp recently said she would not vote for Donald Trump in November – and she’d ‘write Brian Kemp’s name in.’”

“Trump has targeted Governor Kemp for declining to help interfere with Georgia’s 2020 election result.”