Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp defeated former U.S. Sen. David Perdue and three other candidates—Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor, and Tom Williams—in the Republican primary election for governor of Georgia on May 24, 2022. With 57% of precincts reporting, Kemp had 73% of the vote, followed by Perdue with 23%. No other candidate received more than 5% of the vote.
Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) endorsed Kemp. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Perdue.
Kemp was first elected governor in 2018 when he defeated Stacey Abrams (D) 50% to 48%. Kemp served as the Georgia secretary of state from 2010 to 2018 and in the Georgia State Senate from 2003 to 2007. In a debate, Kemp said, “Every day that I’ve been in office, I’ve been putting hardworking Georgians first, ahead of the status quo and the politically correct. And I’m going to continue to do that the rest of my tenure.”
The 2020 election results were a subject of debate in the primary. During an April 24 debate, Perdue said Kemp did not do enough to investigate election fraud claims, saying, “[Kemp] would not stop the consent decree that was signed, he would not give us a special session. And this past year he’s not investigated anything.”
Kemp responded, “The investigative authority per the laws and the constitution of this state in 2020 lies with the secretary of state’s office and the state elections board. Now, we have had things that have been given to our office that we’ve looked into and when we thought they had merit we referred them to the proper authorities to investigate.”
If no candidate had received a majority of the vote, the top-two finishers would have advanced to a runoff election.
Kemp will face Abrams once again in the November general election. As of May 2022, The Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-up. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rated the race as Tilt Republican.