Photo: Courtesy of Rick Austin

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp had a huge boost from the nation’s second-highest ranking elected official on Saturday.

Vice President Mike Pence stumped for Kemp at a middle Georgia rally this weekend as the July 24th primary runoff election date inches closer and candidates vy for the support of the most loyal Republican primary voters. Pence’s campaign trail visit came on the heels of the endorsements of Kemp earlier this week by both President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch. 

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald, radio personality Erick Erickson, former GOP candidate Clay Tippins, Georgia House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, and Congressman Jody Hice all addressed the crowd, which reportedly topped 2,500. Doors opened two hours before the event start time and people lined the halls waiting to get into the hall at the Macon Coliseum. 

A number of other elected officials at the local and state levels were also in attendance. Erickson welcomed the crowd before introducing Tippins, Jones, and Hice, all of whom spoke on the integrity, character, and future plans of Kemp, who is currently Georgia’s Secretary of State. The common theme was Kemp’s history of doing what is right, regardless of whether or not someone is paying attention – or recording.

Kemp took the stage just after 5:00 P.M. with his wife, Marty, and their three daughters. Kemp thanked the cheering crowd for their attendance of the rally on just a few days notice, his wife and daughters for their hard work on the campaign trail, and President Trump and Vice President Pence for their full endorsements, all of which have caused a “Kemp surge.” Supporters in the crowd even asked where ‘Jake’ was.

Pence addressed a chanting crowd for just over twenty minutes, telling Kemp supporters he was happy to be in Georgia on behalf of the President and in full support of Brian Kemp for Governor.

Well, Hello Georgia! It’s great to be back in the peach state with the next Governor of the great state of Georgia, Brian Kemp! How about a round of applause from the next first family of the State of Georgia!

It really is a joy to be with you all today. Before I get started, I just hung up the phone with the President, told him I was headed your way, and he wanted me to be sure I said hello. So I bring greetings from a great, great friend of the state of Georgia, a great friend of Brian Kemp, and a man that Georgia voted to make the 45th President of the United States.

President Trump asked me to be here today for one reason, and one reason only, and that is to tell you that President Donald Trump and I fully endorse Brian Kemp for Governor of Georgia. As you saw the other day, the President announced his full and total endorsement of this good man. Brian Kemp is tough on crime, he’ll fight to keep dangerous criminals off the street, and Brian Kemp will always fight to make sure that law abiding citizens always have the right to keep and bear arms.

As the President said, Brian is strong on borders, and strong on illegal immigration.  He’s committed to keeping Georgia’s economy rolling and committed to keeping Georgia families safe.Brian Kemp stands for Georgia.[Inaudible from cheers] This man is going to win in November.

I want to take a minute to thank not just this good man and his family, but I want to thank a couple of other Georgia leaders who are here with us today. Join me in thanking Commissioner Bubba McDonald, Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones, Speaker of the House David Ralston, and a great friend of President Trump and mine and a great champion in Congress – Congressman Jody Hice.

I sure do appreciate you all coming out tonight. I’m actually very humbled by this incredible turnout. It’s a testament to this good man and his family and a campaign that’s been about putting Georgia first. And I really do believe that. Brian Kemp will bring the kind of leadership to the State House that President Donald Trump has brought to the White House.

What a difference the last year and a half makes. With the support of the good people of Georgia, I gotta tell you, we look back, it was just 18 months ago, the President and I stood on that platform, raised our right hand, took the oath of office, to start this administration and I gotta tell you, it’s been 18 months of action and 18th months of results.

With the strong support of conservatives in Washington representing Georgia, this President signed the largest increase in national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. As the father of United States Marine, I couldn’t be more proud to serve alongside a President who is so committed to our men and women in uniform and all those who have served. Under President Donald Trump, we are, once again, giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guards the resources and training they need.

Just like Brian Kemp, this President pledged to stand with the men and women serving on the thin blue line of law enforcement, and President Donald Trump, every day of this administration, has provided the resources and the respect that our  men and women in law enforcement deserve every day. There’s a lot of members of law enforcement who are with us here today, it’s been a challenging couple of years in law enforcement. Just this past week, more than a half a dozen police officers have suffered from violence. Would you all mind just taking a minute, showing the men and women in law enforcement just how much we appreciate the job they do to protect us all?

Just like President Trump, Brian Kemp’s gonna stand with the men and women that serve in law enforcement across this state, and that includes the dedicated public servants of the United States Immigration & Customs Enforcement, also known as ‘ICE.’

You’ve all heard the irresponsible rhetoric of some of the leading liberal democrats in the country, who’ve actually been saying they want to abolish that law enforcement agency. Here are the facts: Last year alone, ICE agents arrested more than 127,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions and got them off our streets. ICE also removed more than 5,000 dangerous gang members from our communities and rescued nearly 1,000 children from exploitation.

I’ll make you a promise: President Donald Trump, and after Brian Kemp becomes your governor, we will stand with law enforcement and we will never abolish ICE.

This President also promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders and I’m proud to report to report to you that President Trump already secured the largest increase in border security in nearly 10 years and we’ve got a down payment and we’re already starting to build that wall.

[crowd cheers "build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!”]

Oh, we’re gonna build that wall.

Mr. President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our courts at every level. Just this week, I’m proud to report to you, President Donald Trump set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in the first year and a half of any administration in American history and they’re all conservatives.

Just like Brian Kemp, this President has taken a strong stand for the values that make Georgia great and make America great. The President has stood for all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, and I tell ya, I couldn’t be more proud to stand with a candidate and to serve with the President who both will stand without apology for the sanctity of human life.

With all the promises, and I can’t really list them all today, I’m just giving you a glimpse of what the leadership of Georgia is going to look like with a man like Brian Kemp in the State House. President Donald Trump kept his promise to the American people when he signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in America history.

I’ve got to tell you, the results have just been remarkable. 3.7 million new jobs created all across this country, 120,000 jobs all across Georgia, unemployment hasn’t been this low in nearly 20 years, and the President and I and Brian are particularly proud of the fact that we have set a new national record – the lowest unemployment ever recorded for African – Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Promises made, promises kept. And that’s just the kind of leadership and the results that Brian Kemp will deliver starting the day he is inaugurated as the next Governor of Georgia.

I want you to notice that we elected a builder to be our President of the United States, and just like our President, Brian Kemp is a builder. He’s going to build up Georgia. Truth of the matter is, he started his first business, I’m told, with nothing more than a truck and a shovel. Over the past 30 years, he’s built a name for himself, creating jobs and opportunities and he’s still a hardworking business owner. He understands that small businesses are the heartbeat of the community all across Georgia and the country.

Brian felt a calling to give back. He ran for the State Senate, served there with great distinction where he fought against taxes and mandates on job creators, he stood up for families all across Georgia. As Secretary of State, Brian Kemp cut red tape and bureaucracy so Georgia business could create more jobs without more paperwork.

It’s not just Brian Kemp’s record of policies that brought us here today, that resulted in President Trump offering his qualified endorsement. It’s who Brian Kemp is as a person. I got to tell you, to know him by reputation and to know him personally, he’s ready to lead this state as Governor. Brian Kemp is the real deal.

He’s a conservative family member, married to Marty, daughters Jarrett, Lucy, and Amy Porter. This man’s been living out his values every day. He puts his family first, and when Brian Kemp becomes Governor, he’ll always put Georgia families first.

Finally, I’m honored to be here because of Brian’s benefit. You know, I’ve always heard there’s two kinds of people in public service: There’s people that are driven and there’s people that are called.  The truth of the matter is, this man and this good family answered a call to public service, serving in the state senate, serving as Secretary of State, and he’s answering that call in his heart, with a servant’s heart, that  I know he will carry into the Governor’s office.

So, I want to thank you all for coming out today, I’m actually very honored by it. I really am. I told the President on the way here that we had an overflow crowd, with just a couple days notice and that’s a tribute to this good man. It’s a tribute to the values, the vision that he has for the state of Georgia. But I hope you didn’t come here tonight just to hear a speech, I hope to have a chance to shake the hand of as many of you as I can before we go. But I hope you leave here tonight with a little bit of a burden on you.

I got a couple things I’d like to ask you to do when you leave here tonight. With the runoff election this coming Tuesday, there’s a few things I need you to do. Number 1, VOTE! And remember, friends don’t let friends vote alone.

Secondly, I want to encourage you to, after you  make plans to vote come this Tuesday, make plans to bring a friend, tell someone about it. I want you to go tell them about this good man and the vision that he has. You can tell them, “You know, I ran into Mike the other day…And Mike was telling me how he and the President are supporting this guy…” because we understand, and I’ll say this as a former governor, we understand that the Founders created this country with a system where states created the federal government, the federal government didn’t create the states. We need strong conservatives!

Tell them about the vision.

You know, I’ll always believe all the talking heads on TV, all the political commercials, all the radio ads, and emails in the world are not to be compared to when somebody knows you and trusts you and puts stock in your opinion. So after you’ve made plans to vote with a friend, get out and tell somebody about that.

Photo: Courtesy of Rick Austin

The State of Georgia needs Brian Kemp!

I’d encourage you to do one more thing: In these challenging times in the life of our nation, where there seems to be too much division, I think it’s a good time to bow the head and bend the knee. And pray for Georgia, pray for this country, pray for all the men and women who lead us and serve us.

I gotta tell you, I’m out here because President Trump and I are for Brian Kemp, but on this one, I just encourage you to think like the 16th President said in his time. Abraham Lincoln was asked one time if he thought God was on his side, he said, “You know, I don’t concern myself so much with whether God is on our side, but as to whether we’re on God’s side.”

When you pray, pray for confidence. Because I really do believe that as we elect the right people and support all those who are getting behind the ideas and values that make America great, those ancients words scribed so long ago and are still true today, in these divided times that if His People, that are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, I believe He’ll do like He’s always done, He’ll hear from Heaven and He’ll heal this land, this one nation, under God.

So I want to thank you again for coming out. I want to thank you for being #KempStrong! I want to encourage you to keep choppin’! Keep working, time’s wasting, election day is coming around and you’ve got work to do, even yet tonight. Miles to go before we sleep. But I leave here so encouraged, able to stand here with this good man, his wonderful wife, his wonderful family. I leave here today with renewed confidence and with your continued support all across the State of Georgia, Brian Kemp in the Governor’s office, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again. We will make America and we will make America GREAT again.

[R[Remarks as transcribed from video]p>

 

Though Cagle was endorsed by Governor Deal last Monday, the flutter from Deal’s backing was seemingly overshadowed by endorsements of Kemp by Trump and Pence. Cagle’s social media over the weekend showed neighborhood canvassing and phone banking efforts in the final stretch.

Election Day is Tuesday, July 24th.

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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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