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The Latest: Kemp credits White House for helping fuel win

July 25, 2018
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A voter grabs an, "I'm a Georgia voter"sticker, after casting her ballot during Georgia's primary election runoff at Chase Street Elementary in Athens, Ga., Tuesday, July 24, 2018.(Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Georgia election (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

Brian Kemp has credited the White House’s endorsement for helping to seal his victory in the GOP runoff for Georgia governor.

The secretary of state thanked supporters at a party in his hometown of Athens, Georgia, Tuesday night.

He said he had won a “clear, convincing victory” over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and credited the White House’s backing for sealing his win. He said Trump “poured gasoline in the fire” that fueled his victory.

Kemp also pivoted to attacking his Democratic general election opponent, Stacey Abrams.

Kemp portrayed the race against Abrams in November as a battle with the “radical left” as Georgia’s future hangs in the balance.

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9:20 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has asked his supporters to stand behind Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s bid for governor.

After conceding the GOP runoff to Kemp on Tuesday, Cagle told supporters that Kemp was “undeniably ready to lead this state.” The praise was a swift reversal after a nine-week runoff that saw Cagle and Kemp attack each other on multiple fronts.

Kemp now faces Democrat Stacey Abrams as she tries to become the country’s first black woman governor.

Abrams, meanwhile, responded to Kemp’s victory with a tweet asking supporters to stand behind her vision of Georgia against Kemp.

Abrams and Kemp have sparred in the past over election security and voting rights.

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8:40 p.m.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won a bruising Republican runoff in the race for Georgia governor, leveraging a damning secret recording of his opponent and a late Trump-Pence endorsement.

With Tuesday’s win against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Kemp faces Democrat Stacey Abrams. She could become the country’s first black woman governor.

The race will test Democrats’ assertion that changing demographics have turned the Republican stronghold into a swing state.

Cagle’s campaign was rocked by a secret recording in which he says he helped pass a “bad public-policy” bill for political gain.

Gov. Nathan Deal and the National Rifle Association supported Cagle. But Kemp was boosted by the president’s endorsement.

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7:20 p.m.

Supporters of Secretary of State Brian Kemp have gathered at the ballroom of the Holiday Inn in Athens, Georgia, to await the results of the GOP gubernatorial runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Ahead of official results, supporters were hoping to celebrate. A larger-than-life photo of Kemp stretched from the floor to the ceiling of the ballroom. Campaign workers set up a table just outside the ballroom with Kemp bumper stickers and water bottles.  Arrangements of red, white and blue balloons adorned many of the tables.

Kemp won the endorsement of President Donald Trump. Cagle won Gov. Nathan Deal’s support.

Polls closed at 7 p.m.

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7 p.m.

Polls have closed in Georgia’s runoff election.

Tuesday’s race pits Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. They are seeking the GOP nomination for governor. The winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.

President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Kemp. Gov. Nathan Deal has backed Cagle.

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5:30 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle says he felt disappointed with President Donald Trump’s decision to endorse Republican runoff opponent Brian Kemp for Georgia governor.

Cagle told a slew of reporters at his election event Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta that he feels confident despite not getting Trump’s endorsement for the gubernatorial primary runoff. He called Trump’s decision an “unprecedented act” but says, if elected, he will still support the president.

He says turnout has been low, with about 237,000 voters so far.

Cagle says Trump’s endorsement of Kemp has put him in an underdog role, which he is embracing. He says he’s been an underdog all his life, pointing out that he was raised by a single mother and attended eight elementary schools.

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12:10 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is rallying Georgia Republicans to vote for Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the gubernatorial primary runoff.

Pence tweeted Tuesday morning that he and President Donald Trump are “all in for you and hope all GA Republicans get out to vote in today’s runoff. You’ve run a great campaign!”

Trump endorsed Kemp last week and tweeted his support once again Tuesday.

Kemp faces Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in what has been a bruising Republican primary. Pence visited the state over the weekend to stump for Kemp.

Tuesday’s winner faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in the fall.

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10:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is urging people in Georgia to vote for Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the Republican gubernatorial primary runoff.

Trump tweeted Tuesday morning: “Today is the day to vote for Brian Kemp. Will be great for Georgia, full Endorsement!”

Kemp faces Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in what has been a bruising Republican primary. Trump unexpectedly endorsed Kemp last week. Vice President Mike Pence also visited the state over the weekend to campaign for Kemp.

Both Cagle and Kemp have taken hard lines on immigration, guns and social issues.

The winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the fall. She’s trying to become the first black female governor of any American state.

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11:00 p.m.

Georgia Republicans are set to decide a bruising gubernatorial runoff that is testing conservative voters’ loyalty to President Donald Trump and their increasingly frequent rejection of the establishment.

Tuesday’s matchup between Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle pits the White House, which backs Kemp, against outgoing Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who backs Cagle.

Democrat Stacey Abrams awaits the winner, as she tries to become the first black female governor of any American state.

A well-known figure at the Georgia Capitol, Cagle entered the Republican race as the presumed front-runner.

Kemp, even as a statewide elected official, positioned himself as a “politically incorrect conservative” outsider perpetually battling liberal Democrats.

Both Republicans have tried to align themselves with Trump, while taking hard lines on immigration, guns and social issues.

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