Republican governors target Abrams on pandemic restrictions, taxes

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) rolled out its first ad in the Georgia gubernatorial general election on Wednesday, attacking Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams on pandemic restrictions and taxes one day after the state’s primaries.

“Stacey believes she can spend your money better than you,” the ad says. “That’s why she’s supported higher gas taxes, a new sales tax, supports higher property taxes.”

Abrams and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) were projected to win their parties’ nominations on Tuesday evening, setting up a rematch from 2018, when Kemp narrowly won his first term in the governor’s mansion.

Kemp easily fended off a primary challenge by former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), who was endorsed by former President Trump.

The 30-second spot is set to begin airing Wednesday in Atlanta with a six-figure ad buy, according to the RGA. The RGA had supported Kemp in his primary, marking the first time the group financed a TV ad to support an incumbent facing a Republican challenger.

“We certainly wouldn’t have been one of the first to reopen,” Abrams can be heard saying in the newly released ad.

“Small businesses and schools closed. Strict mandates on everyone but herself,” the ad continues as a photo appears of a maskless Abrams in front of a group of masked school children. 

The photo had also been used to attack Abrams in one of Perdue’s campaign ads.

“While Governor Brian Kemp was fighting for hardworking families and making Georgia a great place to live, work and raise a family, Stacey Abrams was openly embracing job-killing and economy-stifling restrictions and pushing her personal agenda rather than putting Georgians first,” said RGA Executive Director Dave Rexrode.

When reached for comment, the Abrams campaign pointed to a statement from the state party.

“We welcome Brian Kemp and his GOP allies’ help reminding voters of Stacey’s work as a bipartisan leader in the legislature, such as her support of the GOP-sponsored bills referenced in their new ad,” said Max Flugrath, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

“Stacey is a tax attorney who stopped the largest tax increase in state history, while Brian Kemp is sending our tax dollars to other states by refusing to expand Medicaid and has continuously refused to weigh in on the Republican plan to increase taxes on forty percent of Georgian families,” he said.

Updated at 3:51 p.m.

Tags Brian Kemp Brian Kemp COVID-19 David Perdue Georgia gubernatorial race Masks pandemic restrictions Republican Governors' Association Stacey Abrams taxes Trump

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