FILE - In this May 15, 2021, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to Republicans at the 6th Congressional District convention in Alpharetta, Ga. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy, File)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp drew jeers and boos at his state party’s annual convention Saturday, laying bare the bitterness that remains among Republicans over his role in certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.

Kemp’s supporters tried to drown out the taunts and he pleaded for party harmony. Heading into his 2022 reelection campaign, the governor emphasized his accomplishments, especially an election overhaul that GOP state lawmakers pushed in reaction to Donald Trump’s false assertions that he lost in November because of voter fraud.

“We must be strong and courageous,” Kemp said. He said of Democrats: “They’ve got Hollywood. They’ve got billionaires in New York and California. … That is why we have to be united as well and move forward together.”

Yet Kemp never mentioned the former president who has bashed him for months and who returned to the political arena later Saturday with a speech to North Carolina Republicans. Nor did Kemp ever explicitly state that the 2020 election was fraudulent or inaccurately tallied, setting him apart from a parade of other speakers who took the stage, including one of his underdog primary rivals who received a rousing response.

 

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