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RGA in Disarray: Another GOP Gov Gets a Primary Challenger; Another Headache for Doug Ducey

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12 of 16 Sitting Republican Governors Are Now Facing Primary Challengers 

Yet another Republican governor is facing an attack from inside his own party. In the latest headache for RGA Chair Doug Ducey, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy will face a primary challenger from a GOP state legislator, who said he “believes Alaska’s conservatives are frustrated and feel betrayed” by Dunleavy “for failing to deliver on promises he made during his 2018 campaign.”

Dunleavy is just one of 12 sitting Republican governors who have Republican primary opponents, including the RGA’s biggest political stars like Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem, and Mike DeWine.

These primary challengers are emboldened by Donald Trump — who is throwing the RGA into chaos by waging an all-out war against sitting Republican governors. Trump has endorsed primary opponents to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Idaho Gov. Brad Little. He’s reportedly looking to oust Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey over a canceled rally in her state. Trump also upended the GOP political establishment in Maryland by endorsing far-right Trump loyalist Dan Cox over Silent Kelly Schulz.

Trump constantly belittles GOP governors — he’s said Charlie Baker has “done nothing for the Republican Party” and called Brian Kemp “terrible.” Trump is also pushing former Sen. David Perdue to challenge Kemp and launch Georgia into a “scorched earth” Republican primary.

Despite Trump’s escalating attacks, the RGA has made clear they’re standing by their incumbents. But with Trump’s iron grip over the Republican Party and no sign of a cease-fire, they’re in for a showdown to protect sitting governors from their party leader’s wrath.

“The mounting infighting and division within the RGA are pushing Republican governors into brutal battles for the support of the far-right wing of the GOP,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “After enduring these constant attacks from Trump and his allies, GOP governors will be extremely vulnerable to big losses in 2022 — assuming they survive their primaries and make it to the general election.” 

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