Georgia 2018: Hill’s closing TV ad emphasizes Christian values

In his final televised pitch to voters, Republican Hunter Hill goes back to the basics: He touts his military service, his pro-gun positions and his stance against abortion.

But his underlying message is a religious one. The 30-second spot features footage of the former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger leading a prayer to fellow soldiers in 2007 in Afghanistan. A narrator who bookends that footage underscores the closing message.

“Army Ranger training made Hunter Hill a leader. But during three combat tours of duty, it was Christ who strengthened him,” said the narrator.

“As governor, Hunter will protect Christian values, defend our Second Amendment and eliminate the income tax,” it adds. “Leader. Fighter. Christian. Hunter Hill: The true conservative for governor.”

The former state senator’s campaign said it’s his final ad ahead of the May 22 primary, and it comes as several other Republican contenders ratchet up their TV messaging.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has reserved more than $4.5 million in airtime and Secretary of State Brian Kemp just unveiled a provocative ad that featured him waving a shotgun near his daughter's date.

A fourth candidate, executive Clay Tippins, has increasingly set his sights on Hill. The Navy SEAL's most recent ad painted Hill as a "Benedict Arnold" because of remarks he made over gun rights; it was roundly criticized by some Republican leaders.

Hill is in a tight race for the second spot in a likely July runoff against Cagle, who is a commanding lead in most polls. An AJC/Channel 2 poll released last week showed Kemp and Hill in a statistical tie for second place and Tippins trailing with about 4 percent. Several other candidates were within the margin of error.

Here’s the full ad: