Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey A Abrams clapped back at Republican opponent Brian Kemp on Monday after his campaign made a fuss over a Facebook photo showing members of the New Black Panther Party toting guns and carrying a yard sign supporting Abrams.
In the photo, posted to the group’s Facebook page, members explained in the caption that they are “not working with any campaign — but rallying against voter suppression.” Kemp, who’s accused of purging an estimated 340,000 Georgia voters, re-shared the photo on his campaign’s Twitter page and demanded that Abrams denounce it.
“It’s no surprise that militant Black Panthers are armed and patrolling the streets of Georgia for Stacey Abrams,” a spokesman for Kemp wrote in a statement to CBS46. “The Black Panthers are a radical hate group with a racist and anti-Semitic agenda. They’re dangerous and encourage violence against our men and women in uniform.”
“Stacey Abrams should immediately denounce the Black Panthers and their hateful record of racism,” it continued. She should stand against and condemn their attempts to intimidate hardworking Georgia voters just days before the election.”
It wasn’t long before Abrams’ camp responded, arguing it was Kemp who “posed for pictures with supporters wearing racist, hate-filled shirts and refused to denounce them.”
Things have gotten dirty between the two candidates in the days leading up to the hotly contested Nov. 6 election. The Black Panther controversy comes just days after racist robocalls by an apparent white nationalist group impersonating Oprah, who hit the campaign trial with Abrams in Georgia last week. Then on Sunday, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, headed by Kemp, accused the Democratic Party of Georgia of trying to hack the state’s voter registration system.
The office failed to cough up any evidence of the alleged cyber attack, however.
“We’ve opened an investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia after receiving information from our legal team about failed efforts to breach the online voter registration system and My Voter page,” a spokesman for Kemp said, later adding that the FBI was involved.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. on Election Day