Screenshot of ad

Campaign ad about sick girl aims to reveal Kemp’s softer side

State Republicans are ramping up their efforts to show gubernatorial hopeful Brian Kemp’s softer side with a pull-at-the-heartstrings ad about a sick girl.

The ad, which is on YouTube and began airing in the Atlanta television market Friday, is funded by the Georgia Republican Party.

The plot

The ad opens with Addy, a young girl from Athens whose kidneys are failing because of an autoimmune disease.

Her mother, Joy, plans to donate a kidney.

Just before surgery, the family learns that insurance wouldn’t pay for the transplant to take place locally, Addy says.

The insurance company wants mom and daughter to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the surgery.

“I didn’t want to go somewhere else and have new doctors, new people,” Addy says. “It was pretty scary.”

Mother Joy said her husband contacted Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, and, on appeal, the insurance company allowed the surgery to go forward in Atlanta.

“Literally that child was on the verge of losing her life,” Kemp says, adding later, “When that happened, I thought, you know that could have been one of my girls. That’s what drove me.”

The ad closes with mom Joy saying: “Brian really saved us. That’s just how he really is.”

The context

Kemp won the Republican primary for governor in July with the help of a TV ad that portrayed him as a gun-toting, “politically incorrect conservative” who would be out in his pickup truck as governor personally rounding up “criminal illegals.”

Since then, Kemp’s ads have played more to moderates with talk of “growing jobs, not government,” investing in locally controlled education and “rewarding legal, not illegal,” behavior.

In one ad, Kemp’s wife talks about the candidate as a good husband and father. She says she told him when he decided to run for governor that he might be too honest for the job. She then says his honesty is, it turns out, what voters like most about Kemp.

Kemp doesn’t corner the market on this type of ad.

His opponent, former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, introduced herself to voters with ads about her humble beginnings in Mississippi and the commitment to service that her parents instilled in her and her siblings.

View the ad

See other ads from the candidates.

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