The Georgia Republican Party held its convention this weekend, and it was made unmistakably clear that former President Donald Trump remains hugely popular among GOP voters in the state, as do the Republican officials in the state who strongly supported him.
There is also no denying that GOP elected officials who had been critical of or opposed to Trump are exceedingly unpopular with the voters, as evidenced by the loud and sustained boos and taunts aimed at Gov. Brian Kemp (R) during his convention speech.
Kemp loudly booed
According to the Washington Examiner, Gov. Kemp delivered his address to the Georgia GOP on Saturday, and the audible enmity he faced from the crowd of Republicans was so loud that it overwhelmed a portion of his opening remarks.
.@BrianKempGA greeted at the Ga GOP convention with loud boos. He was speaking for about 30 seconds before it was quiet enough to hear him from the press area. But he got his first full applause when he mentioned Georgia being the first state to reopen during the pandemic. #gapol pic.twitter.com/4LcgRqkvoO
— Maya T. Prabhu (@MayaTPrabhu) June 5, 2021
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Maya Prabhu wrote: “It was difficult to make out any of Gov. Brian Kemp’s speech over the loud, extended boos from some in attendance throughout the governor’s remarks.”
She noted that many of those booing were expressing their disappointment that Kemp hadn’t done more in support of Trump’s claims that widespread fraud and voting irregularities in the 2020 election had resulted in President Joe Biden winning the state that Trump easily won in 2016 and was predicted to win in 2020.
Kemp continued to deliver his speech in spite of the opening chorus of boos as well as intermittent boos throughout his remarks, though she noted that he did receive cheers when discussing how Georgia had been the first state to fully reopen from pandemic-related restrictions as well as his defeat of failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — who is expected to run for the governorship again in 2022.
Vernon Jones cheered
Speaking of 2022, Prabhu noted that former state Rep. Vernon Jones, a Black Trump supporter who switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, had received “the most raucous reception for any speaker” at the convention.
He was loudly cheered and enjoyed evident support while discussing his desire for Republicans to reach out to other voters of color to sway them over to the Republican side of the aisle. Jones had previously announced his intent to challenge Kemp for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in the upcoming election.
Sharing a video later of the crowd booing Kemp, Jones tweeted, “Today, Georgia Republicans made their voices resoundingly clear. Change is coming.”
Party chair re-elected
Prabhu also noted that David Shafer was re-elected as the chair of the Georgia GOP, an apparent reward from voters for his strong support of Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election, for which Trump had also endorsed Shafer to continue as the leader of the state’s Republican party.
Conversely, local media outlet WSB-TV reported that the Georgia GOP also voted in favor of a resolution censuring Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over his apparent failure to uphold Georgia election laws from last-minute changes made by Democrats and local officials.