Brian Kemp got what he wanted out of the provocative ad that showed the Republican cleaning a shotgun beside a young man purportedly courting his daughter: Outrage and free media.
The secretary of state put $1 million behind the ad for his campaign for governor, which has triggered outcry from some critics who say he shouldn’t be so cavalier with firearms.
Kemp took to Fox News this week to proclaim the pushback - and the attention he’s attracted - as a sign of a success as he races toward the May 22 vote.
“It’s driving the liberal media crazy,” he said with a smile.
“People love the ad. They know it’s funny ... People are like, ‘Don’t back down, keep this up.’”
(Asked whether the young man in the ad, “Jake,” was really trying to court his daughter, Kemp changed the subject.)
The attention-grabbing spot landed last week as the primary tightens. The AJC/Channel 2 poll showed Kemp in a statistical tie with state Sen. Hunter Hill for the No. 2 spot, trailing behind Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
The GOP nominee will face one of two Democrats in the race: Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams or ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans.
DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, former Attorney General Sam Olens, Emory University political scientist Andra Gillespie and your Insider joined the Political Rewind show Wednesday on Georgia Public Broadcasting to discuss the ad and other twists in the campaign for governor.
Listen to the program here: Kemp Faces Criticism For Gun-Pointing Ad
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.