MACON, Ga. — By touting the household values and conservative management of Brian Kemp at a Saturday rally, Vice President Mike Pence offered the rebel candidate for governor in Georgia his second endorsement from the White House in 4 days.
President Trump surprised some Republican officials on Wednesday by publicly supporting Mr. Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, in his upcoming main runoff in opposition to Casey Cagle, the state’s lieutenant governor. And since then, Mr. Kemp has doubled down on his pledge to be a “politically incorrect” governor, enjoying up the gun-toting, truck-driving, Everyman picture that some social gathering leaders fear may value them the final election.
On Saturday, Mr. Pence riled up Mr. Kemp’s fervent supporters and posed for selfies afterward whereas nation music blared from the audio system.
“Brian Kemp will bring the kind of leadership to the Statehouse that President Donald Trump has brought to the White House,” Mr. Pence instructed the gang of at the very least 1,000 folks contained in the Edgar H. Wilson Convention Center.
Mr. Kemp spoke briefly, sticking to his vows to deliver an outsider’s perspective, prioritize small-business house owners over particular pursuits and embrace a more durable stance on unlawful immigration. He additionally declared he can be the Republicans’ finest shot at defeating the Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, a former state lawmaker who’s trying to become the nation’s first black female governor.
“Georgians are sick and tired of these politically correct liberals like Stacey Abrams who are offended and outraged by our faith, our guns and our big trucks,” Mr. Kemp mentioned.
The rally was one of many first during which Mr. Kemp appeared because the front-runner in Tuesday’s runoff. Mr. Cagle has stumbled since main the five-candidate main by double digits two months in the past. In a secretly recorded dialog that was made public this summer season, he mentioned that the first had turn into about “who could be the craziest.” Another recording, launched in late spring, revealed that he had supported a foul invoice to undermine a political rival.
Some political observers wonder if Mr. Kemp will undertake a extra centrist tone — in an try and win average voters — ought to he defeat Mr. Cagle. But Charles Bullock III, a professor of political science on the University of Georgia, mentioned Georgia’s demographics make it attainable for Mr. Kemp to win the final election with out softening his marketing campaign’s sturdy rhetoric, which Democrats have criticized as divisive.
If Mr. Kemp wins the runoff, he’ll discuss attracting suburban voters, mentioned Kerwin Swint, a professor of political science at Kennesaw State University. “But the biggest part of his campaign,” Mr. Swint mentioned, “will be cranking out the Republican base — Trump voters. And being in the Trump tent, so to speak, will allow him to really crank that up.”
On Saturday evening, Mr. Trump reiterated his support for Mr. Kemp, tweeting that the candidate “is very strong on Crime and Borders, LOVES our Military, Vets and the 2nd Amendment. He will be a GREAT Governor!”
Mr. Kemp’s marketing campaign has aimed to succeed in voters in all of Georgia’s 159 counties, and people on the Macon rally mentioned that they had pushed from all corners of the state to see him stand alongside Mr. Pence.
John Wood, a retired analyst at Robins Air Force Base, mentioned he supported Mr. Kemp as a result of he “appeals to my genre: country boy, outsider, doesn’t go with the status quo, loves hunting and fishing.”
Mr. Pence urged the gang to have their mates vote in Tuesday’s runoff, which is anticipated to have low turnout. And it was the vp’s look, mentioned Steven Williamson — who drove over two hours from Augusta — that might lead Mr. Kemp to victory.
“America trusts Vice President Pence. They trust Trump. They trust their opinions,” Mr. Williamson mentioned. “Now they trust Kemp.”