Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp called the race for governor “a battle for the soul of our state and fight for future,” during a campaign stop Friday in Richmond Hill.
Kemp, accompanied by a slew of Republican candidates, spent about 45 minutes at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill addressing a crowd of roughly 100 supporters and local officials.
With early voting ending today and the election Tuesday, polls show Kemp in a tight race with Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is trying to become the first female African-American governor in U.S. history
Kemp, Georgia’s serving Secretary of State, repeated familiar campaign themes during his stop, one of several in the area. He promises to cut state income and other taxes, raise teacher pay by $5,000, lower healthcare costs, protect the HOPE scholarship and 2nd Amendment, and back public safety personnel and the military.
A father of three who has been married 24 years, Kemp also spoke about his family’s support during this election, though he said “running for governor wasn’t included in his marriage vows.”
He said he and his wife also weren’t thinking about running for office during the recession, when they were trying to keep from losing everything.
“But our state bounced back under great Republican leadership,” Kemp said, naming governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, and promising to continue to “keep Georgia working.”
He also urged those who attended the rally to text acquaintances and make sure they vote as well, saying “there is more at state in this election than in any gubernatorial race in our history.”
“This race is bigger than all of us,” Kemp told supporters, and painted his opponent as a negative campaigner whose run for governor is being bankrolled by liberal outsiders.
is running the most negative campaign Georgia has ever seen,” Kemp said. “The
reason she’s doing that is to hide an extreme agenda.”
Kemp claimed Friday that, if elected, Abrams will cut Medicare and Medicaid, raise taxes and use the money to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.
Abrams, who may be visiting Richmond Hill on Monday, has said publically she wants Medicaid expansion into Georgia as part of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, claiming it will provide billions in federal money to help cover more residents and add jobs while also helping save rural hospitals.
A former state legislator, Abrams reportedly said she’s a supporter of the 2nd Amendment but wants background checks and is against the ownership of assault weapons.
She’s said she wants to shore up the HOPE scholarship and expand educational opportunities.
She’s also publically called for support of the military and veterans, and said she wants to do more for the state’s immigrant communities, which Abrams said includes both citizens and those “seeking asylum and refuge … and all those on the long, arduous path toward citizenship.”
Both candidates have been endorsed by outsiders. President Donald Trump came out for Kemp during the Republican primary, and on Thursday U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stumped for him as well.
Former President Barack Obama and entertainer Oprah Winfrey are among those reportedly campaigning for Abrams in a race that has attracted national attention.
Though Kemp was at times literally surrounded by supporters at Friday’s rally, there was at least Democrat under the pavilion.
Someone dressed in a chicken suit stood on a picnic table and waved a placard which read “Kemp too chicken to debate.”
Kemp said, “someone should’ve told (the Democrats” Halloween was on Wednesday.”
The person in the chicken suit clucked at reporters, and declined to give a name or say anything except “www.georgiademocrat.org."