Williams, who has raised scant money and spent little on TV advertising, relied on a wave of media coverage this week after launching the tour. At his stops Wednesday, he was met with far more protesters than supporters.
“This is encouraging people to take matters into their own hands, and that type of language is dangerous,” said Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.
“Candidates shouldn’t be flippant about doing this,” he added. “If they support the rule of law, they wouldn’t support vigilantism.”
After a stop in Decatur, which is at the center of an ongoing feud with Cagle over immigration policy, Williams’ campaign manager claimed “radical liberals” blocked the bus from leaving, shoved staffers and attempted to deface the bus.
DeKalb County police issued a statement late Wednesday that said multiple officers on the scene “did not observe any violence or criminal activity” and said Williams has failed to back up his claim. It asked for witnesses to contact authorities immediately.
The restaurant chain Cracker Barrel, meanwhile, notified Williams that his bus was prohibited from campaigning outside its restaurants, citing a policy not to host political events. Several stops on the bus tour were to take place at the restaurant’s locations.
“We are not sponsoring this event or supporting Mr. Williams’ campaign stops in any way, and per our company policy, we will not allow him – or any political candidate – to host an event on Cracker Barrel’s property,” the restaurant said in a statement.
“We take pride in showing our communities and our country that the hospitality we practice is indeed welcoming and inclusive to all.”
The five GOP candidates for governor will gather tonight at 7 for the Atlanta Press Club debate. We'd imagine the rhetoric on illegal immigration will come up a time or two.
In endorsement news today:
Former U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland backed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's campaign for governor.
Ex-presidential candidate Gary Bauer and the Campaign for Working Families endorsed Republican David Shafer's bid for lieutenant governor.
The Georgia Right to Life PAC backed Republican Josh McKoon's campaign for Secretary of State.
Democrat Lindy Miller's campaign for Public Service Commission nabbed the endorsement of former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, environmental activist Laura Turner Seydel and ex-6th District candidate Jon Ossoff.