Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Georgia 2018: After shotgun ad, Kemp features explosions and chainsaws 


Fresh off a gun-filled ad that stirred controversy, Secretary of State Brian Kemp tried to outdo himself with a new 30-second spot that featured firearms, explosions and a pledge that he would “round up criminal illegals” himself if needed.

Kemp, one of five Republicans running for governor, is ratcheting up his TV messaging before the May 22 GOP primary. And he wanted to build on the attention – and free media – sparked by an ad earlier this month showing him cleaning a shotgun beside a young man courting his daughter.

This spot takes viewers through a barrage of images to remind voters of his tough-on-crime policies and his Second Amendment positions. It comes as polls show he’s locked in a statistical tie for the second spot in a likely July runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. 

“I’m so conservative, I blow up government spending,” he says, as a flash of fire and smoke erupt behind him.

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“I own guns that no one’s taking away,” he says, pumping a shotgun.

“My chainsaw is ready to rip up some regulations,” he says, revving one up for good measure.

“I got a big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself,” he says slamming the door. “Yep, I just said that.” 

“I’m Brian Kemp. If you want a politically incorrect conservative, that’s me.”

Watch the ad yourself:

More recent AJC coverage of the race for governor:

Why Georgia Republicans are shifting to the right on guns 

Brian Kemp: His pitch to conservatives leans hard on law and order 

Hunter Hill: Military vet wages running war on ‘career politicians’ 

Evans bets on gambling as new divide in gov race 

Two gun groups, two endorsements in Georgia’s GOP race for governor 

Casey Cagle: A GOP favorite tries to fend off conservative attack 

How Gov. Deal is shaping the race to succeed him 

Georgia 2018: Kemp braces for attack by pro-Cagle group 

Abrams faces criticism in dispute over 2015 Georgia redistricting bill 

About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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