JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. — Few Republicans have taken more abuse from Donald Trump than Brian Kemp, the Georgia governor whose resistance to overturning the November election results in his state enraged the former president.
As a result, much of the state’s pro-Trump base is in open revolt against Kemp. On Saturday, Republicans booed him at their state convention.
But what didn’t happen at the party gathering may ultimately matter more. Convention delegates did not censure Kemp, even as they formally rebuked another Trump enemy, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state.
Kemp’s standing with the rank-and-file has, improbably, improved, according to interviews with more than 30 party officials, strategists and activists here. And in his partial rehabilitation — the product of a relentless focus on so-called election integrity issues and culture war staples to excite the base — Kemp may serve as a model for dozens of Republicans elsewhere who have incurred Trump’s public wrath and are seeking to regain their standing with Republicans at home.
Kemp’s fate looms especially large in Georgia, a swing state where Trump not only was defeated by Joe Biden but saw Republicans lose both U.S. Senate seats in the