July 12, 2018 Atlanta: Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the two remaining Republicans in the race for Georgia governor, face off in the Atlanta Press Club debate at the GPB studios on Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Understanding Tuesday’s GOP runoff for Georgia governor 

The Republican runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp ends Tuesday, after more than a year of bitter GOP infighting over who is the best conservative candidate for governor. 

The winner of the runoff faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November. Here is our guide to the people, events and trends that have helped shape the race for governor. 

Georgia GOP race for governor was Trump-like even before he stepped in 

The bruising Republican runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp that comes to an end Tuesday has brought all the hallmarks of a Trump-era contest to a Georgia race for governor. There have been covert recordingsvicious nicknames, allegations of sexism and bloody-knuckle debates. And now, with Donald Trump’s “full and total” support for Kemp, the president has inserted himself smack in the middle of the election. - Greg Bluestein, July 20

Georgia’s GOP runoff for governor is no longer about Cagle and Kemp 

The GOP runoff for governor is no longer a contest ‘twixt Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. It has become a tug-of-war featuring the two most popular Republicans in the state of Georgia: Gov. Nathan Deal and President Donald Trump, who have placed themselves on opposite sides of Tuesday’s finale. - Jim Galloway, July 20

Now the underdog, Cagle grapples with Trump fallout 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who was already trailing in the polls, was forced into damage control at the touchiest of moments — just before Tuesday’s contest. A front-runner from the moment he entered the race last year, now Cagle is the clear underdog. - Greg Bluestein, July 19

Deal endorses Cagle in Georgia gov race 

Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Monday in the race to succeed him, giving the Republican candidate key support from a popular incumbent in his July 24 race against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. - Greg Bluestein, July 16

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Brian Kemp talk at a rally in Macon GA Saturday, July 21, 2018. Vice President Mike Pence endorsed Brian Kemp for Governor during the event. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Why Cagle’s home county may be linchpin in Georgia GOP’s governor’s race 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s native Hall County is the linchpin to his plans for the Governor’s Mansion. But it is no safe harbor in the July 24 contest against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. - Greg Bluestein and Aaron Holmes, July 11

The Georgia race for governor sets a spending record

The race for governor has fast become the costliest contest for the state’s top job in Georgia history. New financial reports released this week show the candidates in the hunt to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal have raised or loaned themselves roughly $33 million. That figure is only set to grow: There’s still four months to go in the race. - Greg Bluestein and James Salzer, July 10

A GOP fight over who’s most loyal to Trump 

As the July 24 runoff nears, there’s a bigger battle going on in the GOP race for governor that doesn’t revolve around guns or immigration, but on another issue that could have an even greater pull on Republican voters: the depth of their loyalty to Trump. - Greg Bluestein, June 25

Secret recording shows Cagle backed ‘bad’ bill to hurt gov race rival

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told a former rival in a secretly recorded conversation that he engineered the passage of a bill he described as bad “a thousand different ways” because it would deprive another opponent in the race for governor of millions of dollars in support. - Greg Bluestein, June 7

A secretly made audio recording reveals that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle backed a controversial education bill that he admitted was poor policy to prevent a rival candidate for governor from getting millions of dollars in support.

Georgia senator says Cagle expected big funding by passing bill

A Republican state senator said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle demanded the passage of a contentious charter school measure because he said it would help him secure millions of dollars in outside help for his campaign for governor. - Greg Bluestein, June 12

Kemp campaign gets big bucks from the people he regulates

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has received more than $325,000 in donations to his gubernatorial campaign from individuals and firms under the oversight of his office,  an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. - Johnny Edwards and Greg Bluestein, June 27

‘People feel betrayed.’ Brian Kemp’s role in Kentucky plant under scrutiny

Trenton, Ky. - The residents here are well-versed on the plight of the seed-crushing plant run by Hart AgStrong that’s fast become a part of the campaign for Georgia governor. And the firm’s struggles threaten to dent Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s campaign image as a successful entrepreneur. - Greg Bluestein, June 15

Georgia Democrats think sharp turn to left could lead to November victory

Georgia Democrats took a dramatic turn toward progressive policies in last week’s votes, part of a broader realignment that will reshape November’s election by shifting the party’s philosophy away from decades of centrist appeals. - Greg Bluestein and Tamar Hallerman, May 25

Democrat Stacey Abrams. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Eye of Ramsess Media)
Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

 Abrams banks on debt as advantage in final stretch of gov race 

Rather than downplaying the fraught topic of her roughly $200,000 in debt, Stacey Abrams has been anything but quiet about her finances. – Greg Bluestein, May 10

Locked and loaded: Republicans race to right on guns 

A few months after a mass shooting at a Florida high school reignited a nationwide debate over gun control, Georgia Republicans have aggressively moved in the opposite direction. – Greg Bluestein and James Salzer, May 7

Deal looms large over race to replace him as Georgia’s governor 

The most liked figure in Georgia politics right now is not Donald Trump, Mike Pence, David Perdue or Barack Obama. It’s Gov. Nathan Deal. And his popularity is shaping the crowded race to succeed him. – Greg Bluestein, May 4

After Delta flap, some execs pony up to Georgia Democrats 

In the days after Georgia Republicans exacted political revenge on Delta Air Lines, several high-profile business leaders and airline executives quietly threw their support behind one of the two Democrats running for governor. – Greg Bluestein, April 10

In Georgia, Democrats chart new course on gun control 

Not so long ago, most leading Georgia Democrats cozied up to pro-gun groups. Not anymore. Now Georgia Democrats are embracing proposed firearms restrictions and openly warring with the gun lobby, a remarkably quick shift that upends the party’s decades-old political approach to the debate. – Greg Bluestein, March 22

Georgia GOP counting on tax overhaul to help during elections 

Georgia Republicans plan to lean heavily on the recently passed tax overhaul as they hit the campaign trail this year to counter a surge of civic activism on the left and the headwinds that face a party in power in a tough political environment. – Tamar Hallerman and Greg Bluestein, March 18

 Election-year politics threaten Georgia’s bid for Amazon

Georgia has pledged to roll out the welcome mat to Amazon in hopes of securing its second headquarters. The Legislature may not have received the message. – Greg Bluestein, March 2

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