- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Stacey Abrams‘ leadership committee has taken to the airwaves to accuse Gov. Brian Kemp of taking “Georgia backwards” on guns, abortion and taxes.

One Georgia, which can raise funds on behalf of Ms. Abrams without limits under a new state law, flexed its financial muscle in a new television ad Wednesday featuring video clips of Mr. Kemp played backward.

He put us backwards on guns, said law enforcement, and made it easier for criminals to carry guns in public,” the narrator says in the 30-second ad. “He rolled back women’s rights, vowing to make abortion a crime with 10 years in prison.”

“And while Georgians struggled, Kemp gave massive old school tax cuts to himself and his ultra-wealthy friends,” the ad says. “Just when we need to move forward, Brian Kemp keeps taking us back.”

A request for comment was sent to the Kemp campaign.

Mr. Kemp narrowly defeated Ms. Abrams in their high-profile 2018 gubernatorial race, where the Democrat accused then-Secretary of State Kemp of moving to suppress the minority voters.

Mr. Kemp last month easily dispatched his rivals in the GOP primary, overcoming stiff criticism from former President Donald Trump, who insisted Mr. Kemp ignored rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election and could have done more to stop President Biden from winning the state.

Mr. Kemp could prove to be a harder out for Ms. Abrams this go-around after guiding the state through the coronavirus pandemic and signing a number of bills into law that bolstered his conservative credentials.

Ms. Abrams, however, has made it clear she believes some of the moves Mr. Kemp made that were celebrated by the right — including making it legal for Georgia gun owners to carry a concealed handgun in public without a license and seeking to outlaw abortion typically six weeks into a pregnancy — are going to hurt him with general election voters.

The national debate over gun rights and abortion has intensified following mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas and the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion striking down the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that made abortion a constitutional right.

The abortion law in Georgia is on hold awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Ms. Abrams is leaning into the idea that Mr. Kemp is on the wrong side of the culture wars with most voters, and there is some evidence she could be right.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a poll in January showing close to 70% of voters disagreed that adults in Georgia should be allowed to carry concealed handguns in public without a license and opposed “completely” overturning the Roe v Wade decision.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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