Trump flexing his political muscles with GOP endorsements

July 23, 2018 - 3:14 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's surprise endorsement of a Republican running for Georgia governor is the latest example of the president diving deep into GOP primary politics.

Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp was surprised by the endorsement over his opponent in the runoff, Casey Cagle. But it shows how Trump has been more assertive in offering his backing in Republican contests despite being burned in a bitter Alabama Senate campaign last year.

Three Trump administration officials say Trump endorsed Kemp after conferring with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor.

Two of the officials say Trump has been inclined to endorse Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for governor ahead of the state's August 7 primary.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.