Jul 18, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Go deeper: Meet Trump’s latest controversial endorsement, Brian Kemp

President Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, Georgia's Secretary of State, on Wednesday for Georgia's primary election as a Republican candidate for governor, saying he's "tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration."

Why it matters: Kemp, who was an underdog going into the primary, is yet another controversial candidate running for office that Trump has given his "full and total" endorsement to. Kemp's campaign has been marred in controversy behind two campaign ads where he describes himself as a "politically incorrect conservative."

The details: In the first ad, he points a gun at a teen looking to date his daughter, per CNN. Kemp said to the teen “And two things if you’re going to date one of my daughters?” He responded “Respect,” the teen responds, and “a healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment, sir.” Kemp defended the ad in a tweet.

  • In another, he sits in a truck he calls a "deportation bus" and insists he'll deport illegal immigrants out of the country himself if he has to, per USA Today.
  • He also defends gun rights and says "no one's taking away" the right to bear arms while loading a gun in the commercial.

The backdrop: Kemp is running against Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who is also a Trump-supporting republican. Cagle was leading in pre-election polling by as much as 27% in February, but Trump's endorsement will deal a heavy blow to his candidacy with Kemp already holding a 3% lead as of last Friday, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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