For the next week, the DC Diary will be written by a rotating cast of Spectator editors. Today’s author is Matt McDonald.

Georgia pining

Another Tuesday, another set of state primaries. This week, the national gaze flicks down to Georgia, where Republican governor Brian Kemp faces a primary challenge from former senator David Perdue.

Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General who lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in the 2021 Senate runoff, is the chosen candidate of former president Donald Trump. For the reason why, look no further than Perdue’s opening salvo in his debate with Kemp last month: “First off, folks, let me be very clear tonight, the election in 2020 was rigged and stolen.”

You may wonder: is pining over an election that happened eighteen months ago an effective electoral strategy that’s likely to animate voters? The over 20-point lead that Kemp holds over Perdue in the polls would suggest that, no, it isn’t.

Governor Kemp, meanwhile, has garnered endorsements from prominent Republicans who accepted the result of the 2020 general election: former vice president Mike Pence, Arizona governor Doug Ducey and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Kemp resisted lockdown and mask mandates throughout the Covid pandemic and faced down criticism of the 2021 Election Integrity Act, which President Biden dubbed “Jim Crow in the twenty-first century.”

Despite the accusations of voter suppression, Georgia has seen record early-voting turnout this year — indicating that Major League Baseball moved the All-Star game for nothing, and that Georgia voters care more about having their say in present-day elections than re-litigating defeats in past ones.

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Abrams: Georgia ‘the worst state in the country to live’

The winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary will take on another prominent election denier: the romance novelist and Star Trek actress Stacey Abrams will once again be the Democratic candidate.

Abrams drew fire this weekend for saying that she is “tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live.” Republican critics are wondering aloud whether trash-talking the state of Georgia is a good way to get its residents to vote for you.

Perhaps they should recall the presidential candidate who in 2015 declared that “we’re becoming a third-world country” and that “the American dream is dead.”

Whatever happened to that guy?

Not their first rodeo

Meanwhile on the border, Representative Henry Cuellar is matching up against Jessica Cisneros for a third time in a Democratic primary runoff for Texas’s 28th district. Cuellar is the lone opponent of abortion rights in the House, while Cisneros has the backing of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, along with a number of Democratic women’s groups and unions.

Cisneros, who turns twenty-nine today, was first encouraged to run for Congress by her high-school teacher and “mentor” John Balli, who is now fifty-one. Stories emerged in March about how the pair had become romantically involved in 2011, when Cisneros was eighteen. Balli’s second wife Sandra Ramirez blames Cisneros for the break-up of her marriage. According to the Daily Mail, Ramirez said: “How can she say she’s fighting for women’s rights, including being pro-abortion, when she betrayed another woman. How can she do that?”

Cuellar, meanwhile, had his house raided by the FBI in January as part of the Bureau’s investigation into US ties to Azerbaijan, a western Asian dictatorship. The Bureau would not officially clear the congressman before Election Day.

Hard to say which of the pair is better suited to Congress…

What you should be reading today

Grace Curley: The Blue Dog bloodbath could doom the Democrats
Freddy Gray: What is Black Lives Matter?
Cockburn: Rat out your unmasked colleagues so we can fire them, NPR memo asks
Robert Ford, Washington Post: We’re sorry about the formula shortage. Here’s what we’re doing to fix it
Lachlan Cartwright, Daily Beast: Tapper tested positive at CNN DC and taped show anyway
Philip Wegmann, RealClearPolitics: Immigration disappears from Kamala Harris’s public schedule

Poll watch

President Biden job approval
Approve: 41.3 percent
Disapprove: 54.1 percent
Net approval: -12.8 (RCP average)

Georgia governor Republican primary
Brian Kemp: 56 percent
David Perdue: 34 percent (RCP average)

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