Georgia governor rips Home Depot boycott: 'This insanity needs to stop'

Georgia's governor sounded off Tuesday against calls from religious leaders for a boycott of Home Depot in response to the company's lack of opposition to the state's controversial new voting laws.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Brian KempBrian KempOn The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Businesses contribute thousands to backers of Georgia election law after condemning it Conservative group to defend Georgia election law in All-Star Game ads MORE (R) addressed a coalition of faith leaders who announced the boycott earlier in the day, accusing them of not caring about Georgia workers.

“First, the left came for baseball, and now they are coming for Georgia jobs,” Kemp said, referring to MLB's decision to move this year's All-Star Game from Atlanta over the new laws. “This boycott of Home Depot — one of Georgia’s largest employers — puts partisan politics ahead of people’s paychecks.”

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"The Georgians hardest hit by this destructive decision are the hourly workers just trying to make ends meet during a global pandemic. I stand with Home Depot, and I stand with nearly 30,000 Georgians who work at the 90 Home Depot stores and 15 distribution centers across the Peach State. I will not apologize for supporting both Georgia jobs and election integrity," he added.

Home Depot is the largest single employer headquartered in the state.

Activists who view the GOP-backed elections overhaul as a thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression have been targeting Georgia-based companies that failed to oppose it — or did so only after it was already passed.

The governor went on during the news conference to cast those moves as the byproduct of actions from Democrats in Washington and his old 2018 gubernatorial competitor, Stacey Abrams, who has led voter registration efforts in the state following her defeat to Kemp.

"This insanity needs to stop. The people that are pushing this, that are profiting off of it, like Stacey Abrams and others, are now trying to have it both ways," Kemp said. "There is a political agenda here, and it all leads back to Washington, D.C."

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The Hill has reached out to Home Depot for comment.

"We believe that all elections should be accessible, fair and secure and support broad voter participation. We'll continue to work to ensure our associates, both in Georgia and across the country, have the information and resources to vote," a Home Depot spokesman told Newsweek earlier this month.

"For example, we promoted voter participation in the last election through our internal Get Out The Vote initiative, confirming 15,500 voter registrations among our associates. In addition, we matched more than 1,800 associates with local opportunities to volunteer at polling locations across the country, including 600 technology worker volunteers in Atlanta to support complex technology issues and cybersecurity related to the election," the spokesman added. "We also donated 9,200 plexiglass dividers across Georgia to help meet poll station safety requirements."