I’d like to think Georgia Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is not the sort of person who would murder a teenager with a close-range shotgun blast to the face. But, thanks to his latest campaign ad, I’m honestly not so sure.
Titled “Jake,” the 30-second spot features Kemp and a teenage boy—the Jake of the title—sitting awkwardly in a room full of guns. They include what looks to be two AR-15 rifles leaning against the wall where ordinary people might keep, say, an umbrella.
“This is Jake,” Kemp drawls as he cradles a shotgun in his lap. “A young man interested in one of my daughters.”
“Yes sir,” Jake responds, clearly unnerved at the prospect of being shot to death by a high-ranking Republican.
The rest of the ad is basically Kemp coercing Jake to nervously list his campaign promises. It’s a fairly uninteresting list of boilerplate conservative platitudes about regulations (bad) and firearms (horny for them). Honestly, it doesn’t say much about the strength of Kemp’s platform that he’s literally forcing teenagers to recite it at gunpoint.
Conspicuously, at no point in the spot do we actually see or hear from Kemp’s daughter herself. Does she know what’s happening in her own home? Is she in the next room, paralyzed in fear that her father might turn her boyfriend’s face into ground beef? Is Jake even worth all this trouble? He seems like kind of a goober.
When people pointed out that it was troubling to make light of potentially killing a teenage boy, Kemp responded predictably on Wednesday morning.
A recent GOP gubernatorial primary poll put Kemp nearly 15 points behind the frontrunner, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. It’s unclear whether Kemp will have enough time to personally threaten each and every Georgia resident into voting for him before Election Day.