DeSantis Meets Privately With Kemp in Georgia

DeSantis Meets Privately With Kemp in Georgia – Ron DeSantis held a private meeting with Georgia Brian Kemp on Friday as part of his ongoing initiative to strengthen ties with three Republican governors who had distanced themselves from Donald Trump. The meeting took place at a hotel in Buckhead, Georgia, just before DeSantis attended an event for presidential candidates hosted by conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson. 

During their approximately 30-minute conversation, DeSantis and Kemp refrained from discussing any endorsements, as per sources familiar with the meeting. On Friday, another individual with knowledge of the matter revealed that Former Vice President Mike Pence had a meeting with Kemp. However, they chose not to disclose specifics about the conversation, including whether Pence was seeking an endorsement. 

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Additionally, on the preceding Thursday, Kemp had a phone conversation with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is also a presidential candidate. Kemp, who drew the ire of Trump due to his refusal to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, is among the trio of Republican governors whom DeSantis has actively engaged with lately. 

DeSantis has joined forces with Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, a target of Trump’s criticism, during an Iowa appearance. He has also come to the defense of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu against Trump’s negative remarks. All three governors enjoy strong popularity within their respective states, and notably, Reynolds and Sununu hail from states with early nomination significance.

Kemp’s association with one of the pivotal swing states in the general election context makes his meeting on Friday particularly significant. This encounter follows closely after Trump’s indictment within the same state. Earlier this week, Kemp ripped into Trump’s false claims about voter fraud there, writing, “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law.” 

“Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor. The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus.” DeSantis, Florida’s governor, remains in the second position in national Republican primary polls, but he has lost more ground to Trump.

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During their Friday meeting, DeSantis and Kemp talked about DeSantis’ recent participation in the Iowa State Fair and the upcoming first primary debate, as reported by two individuals who are knowledgeable about the discussion. They also discussed the experience of campaigning with family members and college football. This marks the second occasion in recent months that DeSantis and Kemp have convened. They previously met at the Georgia statehouse earlier this year.

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