Associated Press and Tribune News Service
MACON — President Donald Trump campaigned for Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate at a rally Sunday in Macon, calling Brian Kemp a “strong man” and “strong personality” and said Kemp would be a great governor.
“You want to see Georgia prosperity end?” Trump told the rally crowd. “Vote for the Democrat.”
Trump’s remarks included references to the “Antifa” far-left-leaning militant groups and a migrant caravan marching toward the U.S.-Mexico border that he has called an “invasion.”
Appearing before thousands in an overflowing aircraft hangar, Trump declared, “There’s electricity in the air like I haven’t seen since ‘16.”
“This is a very important election,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it’s as important as ‘16, but it’s right up there.”
Trump went after Kemp’s Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, calling her “one of the most extreme far-left politicians in the entire country.”
The president heaped the praise on Kemp, who is locked in one of the tightest races in the country, on the same day the Georgia secretary of state’s office began an investigation into the Democratic Party after an alleged attempt to hack the state’s voter registration system. Kemp didn’t provide evidence linking the Democratic Party to the hacking attempt.
The Democratic Party of Georgia called the allegation “100 percent false” and “an abuse of power” by Kemp’s office.
After election officials received a report Saturday that the state’s voter registration website was vulnerable, they blamed the Democrats instead of correcting the issue, said Democratic Party of Georgia Executive Director Rebecca DeHart.
The development Sunday intensified calls for Kemp to resign as the state’s top election official while he’s running for governor. Throughout the campaign he has refused to do so.
Abrams called Kemp’s investigation “a desperate ploy.”
“He twice this week was told by federal judges that he was wrong when it comes to voter suppression,” Abrams told WSB-TV. “He is trying to rile up his base by misleading voters yet again.”