Yikes! The Republican gubernatorial hopefuls are on a fast-paced race to the bottom. A (somewhat interchangeable) group of white men have been desperately trying to reassure the public that they are, in fact, the MOST racist, MOST anti-abortion, MOST anti-immigrant candidate of the whole lot.
Where to begin in listing off the litany of disturbing choices these candidates have made?
To start with, all of the top GOP candidates have made public pledges to support any anti-gay “religious freedom” laws in this state.
Let’s see, then there was the time that state Sen. Michael Williams posed with a right wing militia at a “March Against Sharia” last summer. Not only did Williams give a speech at that rally, he later defended the photo op with the group because they looked like gun supporters.
Williams also auctioned off a bump stock — which allow a semi-automatic rifle to operate like a fully-automatic weapon — after it become controversial following its use in the Las Vegas shooting late last year. He criticized calls to ban bump stocks, saying, “any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians.”
Then there’s current Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Better Georgia has highlighted his history of egregiously mishandling his job, resulting in multiple data breaches as well as voting machine problems. His office has also been one of the national leaders in voter suppression.
Just last week, Kemp publicly praised the recent passage of an extreme abortion ban in Mississippi. He then went on to declare he would, “sign the toughest abortion laws in the country as your next governor.”
And then there’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Cagle recently threatened Georgia’s largest employer in defense of the NRA, saying that he would “kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the NRA.”
Cagle has been a major proponent of repealing the popular Affordable Care Act, and has made it clear he wants to end what little progress Georgia has made in getting more residents access to healthcare.
He also literally wrote the charter school legislation that opened the door for public school dollars to go to for-profit charter school companies.
And its recently come to light that as lieutenant governor, Cagle was flying high on the taxpayer dime — literally. He racked up over $250,000 in privately chartered, short flights that could’ve easily been short, inexpensive car rides instead. He just didn’t want to wait in traffic like all of us who pay his salary.
And last but not least is state Sen. Hunter Hill, who most recently made headlines for criticizing students that participated in the walk-outs last week to protest gun violence at schools. He went on to praise school leaders that punished these students.
Hill is also one of the key backers of the push to defund public education. He has repeatedly sponsored a measure to provide incentives to reallocate public school tax dollars to private and charter schools.
With such a delightful cast of characters, how are voters going to decide? Primaries are May 22, so mark your calendars and check My Voter Page to find your polling location.