Vice President Mike Pence plans to make two Hurricane Florence-related pit stops in Atlanta on Thursday before headlining a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp.
Pence will visit Delta Air Lines shortly after landing at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport tomorrow afternoon, a White House official said Wednesday. There he will meet with executives from the Fortune 500 company, speak to employees at the airline’s technical operations facility and receive a briefing on emergency preparedness.
Then Pence will drop by American Red Cross’ field supply center near Union City to “thank employees and volunteers for their efforts as they prepare for Hurricane Florence,” according to the official. Gov. Nathan Deal is slated to join him, along with U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.
Later that evening, Pence will headline a closed-door fundraiser for Kemp and the Georgia GOP at an Atlanta hotel. The event will feature nearly all of the state’s top Republican officials, including Deal, Perdue, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and state House Speaker David Ralston, who’s expected to greet Pence at Hartsfield-Jackson along with Kemp.
Pence’s second visit to Georgia in two months will come hours before Hurricane Florence is projected to make landfall on the Atlantic coast. More than 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under evacuation orders, and Deal on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for all of Georgia as new projections show the Category 4 storm taking a potential turn toward the state’s northern half.
The vice president last visited Georgia in July, attracting hundreds to a Macon hotel shortly after President Donald Trump offered a surprise endorsement for Kemp ahead of his runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
Pence has frequently visited Georgia over the last two years. He stumped for Trump during the 2016 campaign, as well as for Karen Handel during last year’s 6th District special election. He also recently quarterbacked an event touting the GOP tax bill and visited Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival.
Several members of Pence’s inner circle hail from the Peach State. His chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is a Georgia native who was an adviser to Sen. Perdue and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.
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.