Brian Kemp’s statewide tour stops by Statesboro

Kemp spoke about his policies, his opponent Stacey Abrams and encouraged attendees to vote.

Matthew Enfinger and Brendan Ward

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp spoke to a crowd of Statesboro citizens that packed the front parking lot of Anderson’s General Store Friday morning.

Kemp’s campaign bus pulled into the parking lot of the general store around 8 a.m. as part of his statewide “Road to Victory” bus tour.

{{tncms-inline account=”Blakeley Bartee” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrianKemp?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BrianKemp</a> arrives at Anderson's General Store. <a href="https://twitter.com/TheGeorgeAnne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheGeorgeAnne</a> <a href="https://t.co/hZQ2I7leGC">pic.twitter.com/hZQ2I7leGC</a></p>— Blakeley Bartee (@BlakeleyBartee) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlakeleyBartee/status/1058332535191715840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/BlakeleyBartee/status/1058332535191715840″ type=”twitter”}}

Other candidates who spoke at Kemp’s rally included Lt. Governor nominee Geoff Duncan, U.S. Senator David Perdue and 12th District Congress incumbent Rick Allen.

Kemp’s speech

Key topics in Kemp’s speech included questioning opponent Stacey Abrams’ campaign, the Kemp campaign platform and encouraging listeners to vote.

Early in his speech, Kemp made mention of a statement made by Abrams in October referring to careers in agriculture and hospitality.

“You have great hospitality here and I can tell you that every one of these men and women running for office, we respect people in hospitality and agriculture and we don’t believe they have to go into it, they want to be in it,” Kemp said.

Later, Kemp discussed Abrams’ recent use of popular figures to campaign for her throughout Georgia.

“You know, President Obama and Oprah and all these other people that are coming in from across the country, like Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, Corey Booker,” Kemp said. “These are the people who led the fight against Justice Kavanaugh. You know, these are the people who don’t understand what our values are, yet they are trying to change them.”

Kemp spoke on Abrams’ financial support and claimed, based on his campaign’s financial report, that 50 percent of her campaign funding came from out of state.

“There’s people from out of state that are trying to buy this election, they’re trying to convince people that are naive, quite honestly, that there’s a better way,” Kemp said. “They don’t realize it’s going to cause their taxes to go up $13,000. They don’t understand what big government really means. It means you don’t have control over the choices in your own government anymore or who your doctor is gonna be.”

Kemp described Abrams’ campaign as “dishonest” and questioned her plans for expanding Medicaid.

“She’s having to lie about me to run from her extreme agenda of higher taxes, bigger government and make no mistake, her plan to expand Medicaid, she really wants to cut it and cut Medicare and raise your taxes to have a radical government takeover of health care,” Kemp said.

Kemp said that Abrams is asking for government benefits, welfare and free college for those that are here illegally.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>"She’s also asking illegals, people, undocumented and documented to be part of the blue wave and to vote for her in this election," Kemp said.</p>” id=”d8a875af-1b5b-4597-8e42-eb73709f072c” style-type=”quote” title=”1″ type=”relcontent”}}

Kemp said he plans to invest in public education, give pay raises to teachers, lower health care premiums and specified defending the Second Amendment.

“We know if we got a good people that have good jobs like they got now and we continue to supply the workforce of the future like great educational institutions like Georgia Southern and our technical colleges in this area of the state are doing,” Kemp said. “We’re going to continue to be the best state to live, work and raise your family in. And that is what we will do, keep Georgia working.”

Along with encouraging listeners to remind others to go out and vote, Kemp concluded his speech by asking for donations from his audience that was collected by his daughters in a large diesel can.

“I’ll leave you with this,” Kemp said. “We’ve got all of the money that we need, the only problem is it’s in your pocket.” 

Allen, Duncan and Perdue speak

Twelfth District Congressional incumbent Rick Allen was one of the first Republicans to speak at the rally. Allen spent his time on the stage talking about the importance of this election and how he saw socialism as one election away from taking root in America.

“I tell every generation that every election in our generation is going to be the most important election,” Allen said. “We’re one election away, and I hate to say this, from socialism in this country. We had soldiers die fighting socialism around the world, folks, and people are beginning to embrace it in this country. I don’t understand it. We’ve got to fight it and we’ve got to start right here in Bulloch County and right here in Georgia.”

After Allen, Geoff Duncan, Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, took the stage. Duncan spent his time discussing how Georgia Democrats have accepted $50 million of outside money for their campaign.

“The other side wants to short-circuit the system. They want to catch us napping. They want to energize their base and they want to take $50 million of outside money and drop it on us,” Duncan said. “But you know what? We’re not going to let it happen. We care too much about our neighborhoods, we care too much about our schools, we care too much about the Second Amendment, to ever give these people in California a chance to take over our state.”

The final Republican to speak before Kemp was Republican senator David Perdue. Perdue talked about the importance of individual freedoms and how Democrats if elected, would take those away from Georgians.

“The most important principle and this is what the other side is trying to take away from us, is individual freedom,” Perdue said. “This is not just about Brian Kemp or Geoff Duncan. This is about the future of our state and our country.”

Thoughts on the rally

After the rally, Mike Anderson, Anderson’s General Store owner, said he supported Kemp’s platform and admired his pro-business approach.

“He talked a lot about the pro-business atmosphere, and he is a small business person,” Anderson said. “He understands what we all fight, and regulation-wise and government involvement, and out here trying to provide jobs for Georgians, so I agree with what he’s saying and the direction that he wants to continue to carry the state.”

Although Kemp’s rally was not held on the GS campus, some GS students still attended.

Blain Salter, chairperson of the GS College Republicans, was in attendance at the rally along with other members from the GS College Republicans.

“It’s always good to have Brian Kemp and all of our Republican nominees to come down here to Statesboro,” Salter said. “We’re delighted to have them and we know this is an important election and we want to make sure we turn out to vote.”

Wes Hutter, senior construction management major, said he was glad that Kemp visited small towns like GS.

“I think he’s putting the hardworking Georgians first and I think he’s a good all around guy,” Hutter said. “I think he’s done a good job as secretary of state and I think he’d make a great governor.”

The midterms elections are Nov. 6, for a rundown of who is on the ballot, what amendments are up for a vote and where to vote, read The George-Anne’s article on the election.

Tori Collins contributed quotes to this story. 

Blakeley Bartee contributed live coverage to this story. 

Matthew Enfinger, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, [email protected]

Brendan Ward, The George-Anne Coverage Managing Editor, [email protected]