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Kemp calls on Amico to withdraw from race for Georgia’s No. 2 job

Republican Brian Kemp opened a new line of attack Friday, demanding that the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor withdraw from the race because of a “disturbing” racial discrimination lawsuit targeting her family’s business. 

Calling the lawsuit’s allegations “unacceptable and disqualifying,” Kemp said Sarah Riggs Amico should “listen to the victims and apologize for the hurt they have endured” while working at the Jack Cooper trucking firm.

He’s referring to a complaint filed in April by 10 current and former employees at the firm’s Indiana office who claimed a supervisor discriminated against black employees and that another supervisor sexually harassed staffers. 

Jack Cooper chief executive Mike Riggs, who is Amico’s father, has called the lawsuit “frivolous” and his attorneys have asked a judge to dismiss the complaint. 

Amico, who faces Republican Geoff Duncan in November, is the company’s executive chairwoman and has often invoked her business experience on the campaign trail.

In a lengthy statement, Amico said she the claims in the lawsuit are “completely without merit.”

“Sadly, this is what happens when an actual outsider starts to shake up the political establishment, threatening to bring accountability to career Republican politicians under the Gold Dome,” she said. “I am proud of my track record at Jack Cooper, and of our company’s strong anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. Neither I, nor our company and its management, would ever tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

Kemp’s demand comes as he’s under scrutiny for his own legal problems in his race for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp, who as secretary of state oversees state elections, was slapped with a lawsuit Thursday challenging a Georgia law that has stalled the voter registrations of more than 53,000 potential voters until they verify their basic information.

And a judge is weighing a lawsuit from a Toccoa financier who claims Kemp failed to repay a $500,000 loan that he personally guaranteed for a struggling agricultural plant. 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.