Candidates in Georgia governor’s race bring in big names to help


Donald Trump Jr. exhorted conservatives to “run up the score” and help Brian Kemp’s campaign and other Republicans on the Georgia ticket sweep statewide office in November.

“The economy is so good, Barack Obama is trying to claim it,” Trump said. “Think of how stupid that is.”

Hours earlier, an overflow crowd at Clayton State University erupted into applause when Ayanna Pressley — who became a hero to progressives for ousting an incumbent U.S. House member — urged Democrat Stacey Abrams’ supporters to buckle down.

“Victory is work. It’s not magic. I need you to work,” said Pressley, a Boston city councilwoman. “If they say I’m preaching to the choir, then choir, I need you to sing!”

The two rivals for governor each brought in out-of-state reinforcements Tuesday to give their campaigns an extra boost, drawing hundreds of supporters and heaps of media attention with less than one month before the Nov. 6 election.

For Abrams, it was the latest in a string of high-profile political figures who have backed her bid for higher office, including a cast of likely 2020 presidential contenders. That outside support has drawn relentless attacks from Kemp’s campaign, which has tried to paint Abrams as a creature of California.

But Trump was a reminder that Kemp, too, is leaning on influential help from beyond Georgia: President Donald Trump’s administration. Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit Thursday, and the president could also visit later this month.

The president’s son, meanwhile, attracted his own raucous crowd. About 100 Kemp supporters piled into a convention hall to listen to Trump’s speech, and hundreds of students gathered for a University of Georgia College Republicans event with him shortly afterward.

Abrams was joined at her event by Pressley and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who described the narrow confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a political turning point. He became a divisive political figure after he was accused of sexual assault when he was a teenager, an allegation Kavanaugh angrily denied.

“This fight was a righteous fight. We called out the privilege of powerful men who protect each other. We listened to voices of millions of survivors of sexual assault. We called out a system that is rigged for the rich and the powerful,” said Warren, who spoke about the raw emotions that Kavanaugh’s confirmation evoked.

“It hurt,” she said. “Now it is time to turn our pain into power.”

Republicans hope to parlay that same sense of anger over Kavanaugh to help vulnerable incumbents and challengers, and give conservatives a dose of momentum ahead of the midterm vote. The president’s son didn’t directly invoke the Supreme Court fight, but he talked about “misguided” Democratic outrage.

“We need fighters, the people who have the guts and conviction to do that,” Trump said. “Because as successful as my father has been, we need all your help. Because if Donald Trump came out today with a policy of oxygen, the Democrats will be vehemently against him.”


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