Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp defeated Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle in Tuesday's primary runoff to earn the Republican Party's nomination for governor.
The victory sets up a November showdown between Kemp and Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, who is vying to become the first black female governor in U.S. history.
Kemp's decisive win over Cagle was also a victory for President Donald Trump, who gave a late endorsement to a man who described himself as a strong supporter of the White House and a politically incorrect conservative. Vice President Mike Pence also campaigned for him.
While Cagle had the endorsement of the NRA and Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, he was unable to overcome a secret recording where he admitted supporting "bad public policy" for political reasons. Trump's endorsement of Kemp put the nail in Cagle's coffin.
In his victory speech, Kemp thanked Trump and Pence and then turned his attention to Abrams. The two are polar opposites on major issues, including expanding Medicaid, abortion rights, and gun control.
"Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and Nancy Pelosi all have Georgia on their mind," Kemp said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "For months, they’ve been campaigning for Stacey Abrams, the out-of-touch radical liberal who cares more for her billionaire backers than for you all."
Kemp drew national attention during the GOP primary campaign with an ad where he pointed a shotgun at an actor playing a teenager dating his daughter.
"I ask for you to dig deep. We’ve got to hunker down, folks," Kemp said. "As we’ve been saying lately, we’ve got to keep chopping wood."