Georgia 2018: Trump is already jolting the race for governor

Donald Trump at the NRA convention in Atlanta. AJC photo.

President Donald Trump is shaking up the emerging race for Georgia governor, forcing Republicans to gamble on how closely to tie themselves to his presidency – and speeding up plans for Democrats who think they have a tantalizing opportunity to exploit his setbacks.

A fight is already under way on the GOP side of the ticket between candidates pledging to “drain the swamp” vying against more mainstream Republicans with long records of experience in public office who aren’t tying themselves directly to Trump’s presidency.

The battle lines have already being drawn: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle didn’t mention Trump at his campaign kickoff, while Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s official announcement practically oozed Trump-ian themes. More Trump loyalists could join the race, including a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence.

Democrats are practically salivating over the chance to energize left-leaning voters by painting whichever Republican emerges as Trump lite. A pair of Democratic rising stars – state Reps. Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans – both figure to put their opposition to Trump at the center of their bids.

Read more on MyAJC: How Trump is shaking up the governor’s race


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