Republican nominee for governor Brian Kemp, speaking to reporters during a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Buckhead on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, proposed a school counselor in all 343 state public high schools; one-time funding for schools to spend as they see fit; and a school safety division in the Georgia Department of Education. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On the Georgia trail: White supremacists, sex offender crackdowns and school safety 

Earlier this week, Brian Kemp pounced on the quasi-endorsement that the Metro Atlanta chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America bestowed on Stacey Abrams

But there is another side to this coin. Abrams could just as easily tie Kemp to the racist fringe groups backing his bid for governor who have taken aggressive and inflammatory action against her campaign. She hasn’t, but she could. 

Southern Revivalism, which advocates for Southern secession, posted a lengthy, racist post this month accusing Abrams of being a “Yankee-supported Black marxist that hates the South” - and plenty more vile stuff

Other white supremacist groups, including Stormfront, have written encouraging words about Kemp’s campaign and hateful ones about Abrams, who would be the nation’s first black female governor.

But the most jarring episode came earlier this month when members of the Nationalist Liberty Union, which aims to “unify America as a Euro-centric Christian nation,” waved Kemp signs at an Abrams event and heckled a black female U.S. Air Force veteran touting her campaign

Poll conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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A fresh attack on Stacey Abrams’ opposition to a sex offender crackdown measure is headed to a TV screen near you. 

The ad from the Georgia GOP debuted days after Brian Kemp’s campaign highlighted the Democrat’s decision not to vote on a 2017 measure that allowed prosecutors to charge people soliciting a victim of sex trafficking with human trafficking violations.

Abrams said through a spokeswoman that she opposes the measure because it limits the discretion of judges, zeroing in on the part of the legislation that outlines sentencing ranges of 10 to 20 years for those convicted of human trafficking charges. 

The ad opens with “Jessica” dropping off her smiling child at a daycare center before lacing into Abrams’ vote.

“I don’t know what Stacey Abrams was thinking, but I do know she’s too extreme for Georgia.” 

Watch the ad here and read the backstory here. 

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Brian Kemp’s new $90 million school safety proposal was striking for another reason: It was also the first time most of the state’s GOP establishment had signed on to a major Kemp policy initiative. 

Kemp appeared in tandem with Geoff Duncan, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, and also rolled out support from House Speaker David Ralston, Senate pro tem Butch Miller and the chairs of both state legislative school safety study committees. 

Which means it’s likely to be on a glide-path if Kemp is elected in November. 

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About the Author

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