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Keep Georgia Honest and Principled

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a campaign event in Alpharetta, Georgia on May 17.


Elie Nouvelage/Getty Images

As Georgians head to the polls on Tuesday, they have a clear choice: The Peach State can re-elect Governor Brian Kemp, a leader with integrity, or replace him with an opportunistic politician, either Democrat Stacey Abrams or Republican David Perdue. In 2020, Georgia was at the center of the battle over which party would control the Senate and the White House. In 2022, the stakes could be even higher. Georgians can send a clear message that voters will reward honest leaders and reject unscrupulous politicians.

Over the past four years, Governor Kemp has shown strong leadership in difficult times. We don’t approach every issue the same way, but I respect that he gets to the point, listens to his constituents and puts their needs first.

Because he is that type of leader, Governor Kemp faced ridiculous and dishonest attacks from former President Trump simply for supporting the will of Georgians in the 2020 election. Governor Kemp is a strong conservative and was a Trump supporter. His only sin was to follow his constitutional duty and refuse to lie to people of his condition.

Mr. Perdue, a former senator, was recruited by Mr. Trump to oppose Governor Kemp. He may have been a fighter for the Georgians, but in this race, Mr. Perdue is running for only one audience: Donald Trump.

Gov. Kemp looks likely to overcome that challenge in the Republican primary, but Mr. Perdue is not the only election denier in this race. Likely Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams pioneered the practice. In 2018, two years before President Trump tried to reverse his electoral defeat, Ms Abrams called her own resounding defeat in the Georgia gubernatorial race (by more than 50,000 votes) “rigged”, swearing “we we will never give in.”

While Democrats rightly decry Mr. Trump’s refusal to admit reality and concede the election, many of them are applauding Ms. Abrams for doing the same. His false claims were amplified in the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, from Capitol Hill to the upper levels of the White House. While his presentation may be smoother than the former president’s and his lyrics aren’t quite as crude, the impact is the same: undermining confidence in the election.

The far-left and far-right vitriol obscures the larger truth that the extremes of both parties have more in common than they care to admit. Nowhere is this clearer than in Georgia. The Abrams and Perdue campaigns may not like each other, but they start from the same dangerous premises. They both believe that politicians know better than the people, at least when their side is in charge. Both undermine our democratic processes when they do not serve their own interests. Both care more about controlling a party than governing or solving serious problems.

America’s future depends on honest leaders who recognize that the office they hold is greater than themselves. If David Perdue and Stacey Abrams were to prevail in Georgia, then more selfish politicians would be emboldened across the country. It’s not about the difference between right and left. This is the difference between good and evil.

Mr. Hogan, a Republican, is governor of Maryland.

Newspaper editorial report: Democrats moved left, Republicans right. Images: Getty Images Composition: Mark Kelly

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