What the governor hopes is to carry enough votes statewide to cross the 50% finish line and win re-election without a runoff against Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams.
That strategy would be just fine with those who attended a rally featuring the governor Friday afternoon.
Kemp brought his re-election campaign to Monroe on Friday talking to the faithful at the Walton County Historic Courthouse.
The governor’s message hasn’t changed much from his previous visits. He spoke of the need to stop Abrams from being elected governor and from being elected president.
Kemp, who has made Monroe a regular campaign stop, was joined on this visit by former New Jersey governor and former presidential candidate Chris Christie.
Polls have shown Kemp with a seemingly comfortable lead against Abrams in a rematch from the 2018 election. Kemp is hoping to avoid a runoff which is possible with three candidates on the ballot. The 2018 election did go to a runoff.
Kemp, who has made Monroe a regular campaign stop through the years, was joined on this visit by former New Jersey governor and former presidential candidate Chris Christie.
Kemp received a surprise endorsement last week from Kwanza Hall, a Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor in the 2022 primary. Hall also endorsed Republican Burt Jones in the Lt. Governor’s race.
The governor’s appearances locally always draws interest, and one couple was setting up their front row seats more than three hours before the start of Friday’s rally.
“We’ve had an incredible record the last four legislative sessions,” Kemp said to the crowd of approximately 200. “It’s not just been me. We’ve had a great team.”
The governor paid tribute to the late Roy Roberts Sr., the long-time mover and shaker of Walton County GOP politics.
“I go back a long way with Roy and his family,” Kemp said.
The governor said the people of Georgia want to go to work and see their kids go to school.
“We are doing good in Walton County and good in our state because I did not listen to people like Stacey Abrams,” he said.
Kemp said he was criticized by the national and state media for re-opening Georgia, as well as officials from both major parties.
He was also criticized in this election by Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel for closing the state down at all.
Kemp, however, continues to stress in his campaign speeches that he was the first to re-open during the pandemic after listening to Georgians who said they were on the verge of losing their businesses and everything they had worked all their lives for.
“We have to fight like we have never fought before,” he said. “Don’t believe the polls. You are the polls.”
Christie spoke following Kemp and said during the last 24 hours he had been on a hard-working Georgian’s bus, not just with the governor but his entire family.
“I am down here for one simple reason,” Christie said. “I know what it means to govern in a crisis. I watched Brian Kemp lead through COVID. If you vote for him next Tuesday, you will have the best governor in the country.”
The former New Jersey governor said Abrams has given encouragement to criminals.
“She told them they wouldn’t go to jail,” Christie said. “She told them they wouldn’t pay the price. She is in league with the criminal element of Georgia. She has no business being governor.”
Christie echoed Kemp’s sentiments about not assuming the election has been won, even though all polls show the Georgia governor in the lead.
“We cannot take one vote in this election for granted,” he said.
The one-time presidential candidate also joked at Abrams’ expense saying she liked being famous.
“After Tuesday, she can be famous full time because she won’t be governor,” Christie said.
State representative Bruce Williamson introduced Kemp saying he has known him for more than 20 years.
“He has been in and out of Walton County countless times,” Williamson said. “He is a man of character. He was the first governor in the nation to re-open after the pandemic.”
Advance voting concluded Friday. Polls are open on Tuesday from 7 a..m. until 7 p.m. in Walton County and across the state.