The Walton County Republic Rally for the Senate Monday was on, then it was off, then it was on again, but not with headline speakers Ivanka Trump and Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw who returned to Washington before it was rescheduled.
The two incumbent Georgia Republican senators, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue, and incumbent Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald who are all on the ballot for the Jan. 5, 2021 runoff election, however, did make it out. The were able to briefly address the crowd before returning to Washington DC for the official vote for the now beleaguered COVID-19 relief bill.
The crowd waiting patiently had been warmed up with patriotic music and speeches by local state Reps. Bruce Williamson and Tom Kirby, McDonald as well as other local Republicans. However, when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp arrived with the senators, he did not get a warm reception.
Kemp took to the stage to more boos than cheers. He addressed the anger, acknowledging that he understood the sentiment, but reiterated his position that the state law is clear and he is not prepared to violate state law or the Georgia Constitution by interfering in the election results without the authority to do so. He said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is in charge of elections in Georgia and his position as governor does not allow him to interfere. He reminded the crowd that he had urged that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation be called in to investigate alleged irregularities in voting procedures. Raffensperger went on to call in the GBI on Dec. 8 to investigate specific cases. Kemp has repeatedly urged any dispute to be challenged through the courts. To date, no investigation or legislative challenge has resulted in any changes to the outcome of the election.
At the end of his speech, Kemp was able to change the mood of the crowd a little when he reminded them that no matter how angry or upset they may be, that was no reason to choose not to vote.
“Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are outside business people just like the president and that’s why we need them to go back to defend the great work that he has done over the last four years – cutting taxes, deregulation, rebuilding our military. We can all support that. You know Republicans all the time, all the time, they ask you, ‘Are you going to appoint judges that follow the law – that don’t make it.’ Do you want liberal activist judges? No we don’t. Look at the people that Donald Trump has appointed to the Supreme Court – straight constitutionalists. That matters in this state and it matters in this country. The senate is where that happens,” Kemp said, going on to urge those in the crowd to vote and to vote early.
Kemp then went on to introduce Loeffler, who took to the stage to cheers. Perdue also addressed the crowd briefly before both senators left to head back to Washington DC