Brian Kemp had hardly started speaking at a tailgate on the University of Georgia’s North Campus when much of his audience started pointing at the sky above him.
There, in the clouds above Athens, was a plane towing a banner reading “@BrianKemp says ... Go Vols” as tens of thousands of fans tailgated ahead of the Bulldogs rout of Tennessee.
“I only read the first part of that,” Kemp said Saturday, returning to his stump speech as someone in the crowd mocked the sign as "fraudulent advertising!”
The stunt was pulled off by the Democratic Party of Georgia, which aimed to get under Kemp’s skin as he races for governor against Stacey Abrams.
Kemp, an Athens native, is a die-hard UGA fan who has incorporated the team’s red-and-black motif and “keep chopping wood” slogan into his campaign.
But fans who went to the Twitter handle @BrianKemp featured on the plane-towed banner found a spoof account with a photo-shopped picture of him decked out in Tennessee gear and critiques of his policy platforms. (His official campaign account is @BrianKempGA.)
It’s not the first time Democrats have hijacked Kemp’s name. A visit to BrianKemp.com will direct you to Abrams’ campaign website; a California public relations executive by the same name has routed all traffic to Abrams for months.
Republicans who spoke after Kemp at the event sniffed at the Tennessee trolling.
Geoff Duncan, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, said he hopes the plane “has enough fuel to get out-of-state before it has to land.” And Attorney General Chris Carr echoed the same theme.
“Isn’t it just like out-of-state Democrats to get it wrong?”