When President Donald Trump weighed into Georgia’s Republican Primary on Wednesday afternoon and endorsed Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a tweet, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock was very surprised.
“Something had be done to set this up. The president wouldn’t just get up from lunch and say, ‘I think I send out a tweet about this Georgia election,'” Bullock said.
He said the closest Georgia connection to Trump is Agriculture Secretary and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and his cousin, U.S. Senator David Perdue.
Regardless of who are what motivated Trump’s tweet, it comes just days after Gov. Nathan Deal threw his support behind Kemp’s rival Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
“It’s like a poker match. Deal comes out endorses Cagle and the president says ‘see you and raise you one’,” Bullock said.
Cagle and Kemp have both been supporters of Trump during the runoff, but in the tweet Trump said of Kemp “I give him my full and total endorsement.”
The stage may be set for a showdown next Tuesday not just between Cagle and Kemp, but between Georgia’s governor and the president.
“If Cagle survives, then I guess one headline could be Deal beats Trump,” Bullock said.
Kemp welcomed the news of the endorsement in a tweet saying he was grateful to have Tump’s “full and total” support.
Cagle tweeted directly at the president.
“No Hard feeling, I look forward to receiving your endorsement against the Democrats in November,” it said.
Trump has weighed into Republican primaries before. In the Alabama race for the Senate last year he supporter Luther Strange who ended up losing to Roy Moore.