High-stakes primary races and runoffs are underway in five states: Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota.

Texas voters on Tuesday casted their ballots in runoff elections amid news of a shooting at an elementary school. In Minnesota, a special primary is being held in the first congressional district.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who in April 2022, signed Senate Bill 319, a measure that allows Georgia gun owners to carry a concealed handgun in public without first obtaining a licence from the state, on Tuesday issued a written statement about the deadly school shooting in Texas shortly before polls closed in the state.

It can be seen that the statement is Kemp’s only comment on the shooting, although the Kemp campaign plans to hold a moment of silence before his remarks at the election night party.

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In his statement, Kemp said, “For children and innocent adults, including a school teacher to be taken from this world in such a depraved, violent way, it is incomprehensible.”

“We are lifting up the families of these victims, the first responders on the scene, and the entire community in prayer,” he added.

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The party, which is being held at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, began just as polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.

It is reported that attendees slowly entered the venue, where the campaign is serving burgers and barbecue while they await the results, which are displayed on two screens on either side of the main room.

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Kemp is favoured to win renomination, though the question remains whether he will get more than 50% of the vote over his challenger, David Perdue, and avoid a runoff.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia Stacey Abrams came forward and expressed her support for the families of those killed in the Texas school shooting.

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In a tweet, Abrams said, “To the families of Uvalde, we weep with you in your grief and ask for God’s solace for your unfathomable pain. May your angels be lifted up to spite the darkness that took them. And may the light of reason and compassion save the lives of others in their namesake. #Uvalde.”

Abrams, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, has made gun safety a key pillar of her campaign. She routinely called out Brian Kemp for signing a bill into law allowing most residents to carry a concealed gun without a licence.