Pence to raise cash for key Georgia Republicans in October

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Former Vice President Mike Pence will return to Georgia next month for a pair of fundraisers to boost GOP candidates.

It will be his first visit to the state since a May rally with Gov. Brian Kemp that punctuated a deepening divide with former President Donald Trump.

Pence will hold an Oct. 13 fundraiser in Atlanta with state Sen. Burt Jones, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, and state Sen. Tyler Harper, the Republican contender for agriculture commissioner.

He’ll head to Thomasville later the same day to raise cash for U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson of West Point and Chris West, the GOP nominee running against veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop.

Tickets for both events start at $1,000 and rise sharply for access to private receptions and other perks. A spokesman for Jones and Harper said the vice president “knows how to pick strong American first and Georgia first winners.”

Pence last traveled to Georgia days before the May 24 GOP primary to support Kemp as he faced a Trump-backed challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

The event was Pence’s biggest break from Trump and illustrated the growing proxy fight between establishment forces who rallied behind Kemp and the Trump loyalists who sought to remake the state GOP in the former president’s mold.

The governor and his allies routed the Trump-endorsed candidates a few days later, and Perdue has since pledged his support for the incumbent, though he hasn’t held a public event for Kemp since his defeat.

Jones’ ties to Pence have also surfaced in the race for lieutenant governor, as his Democratic opponent Charlie Bailey has sought to remind voters of Jones’ role as a “fake” elector for Trump.

Harper and Jones were among legislators who traveled to Washington on Jan. 5, 2021, to take part in a fundraiser hosted by Pence. Jones carried with him a letter signed by 16 legislators pressing Pence to delay certifying the election results, but he never delivered it.