Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to members of the state GOP at their convention in Jekyll Island Saturday, but few people in the crowd of about 2,000 heard what the governor had to say.
That’s because so many people in the room drowned Kemp’s words out with almost-deafening boos.
People captured several seconds of Saturday’s incident on video and tweeted it later that day.
GOP activist Debbie Dooley told The Georgia Star News Saturday that she witnessed everything.
“I was there helping to lead the charge [of booing],” Dooley said.
Drama occurred before Kemp even appeared on stage. Dooley said one of the governor’s bodyguards roamed the room to relay a message.
“‘You are not allowed to boo for Gov. Kemp’ is what he was saying. He said ‘Hey, are you in that Debbie Dooley faction?’ You do know you aren’t allowed for Governor Kemp,’” Dooley told The Star News.
“You couldn’t even hear what Kemp was saying. That is how loud it was, just boos throughout his speech. They even booed his wife when he introduced her. He brought his family up on stage, and they still booed him.”
Dooley said Kemp delivered about a seven-minute speech. She said several people vacated the room as Kemp prepared to speak. But other people cheered for the governor, Dooley said.
“There was “an equal amount of applause and boos,” Dooley said.
Kemp tweeted about the state GOP convention later that day, but he did not address how the audience reacted to his speech.
“Blessed to have Marty and the girls at GAGOP State Convention today. We’re Kemp Strong and humbled by the support of so many strong conservatives throughout the state! Keep Choppin’!” Kemp wrote.
Dooley said former State Rep. Vernon Jones — who has announced he will challenge Kemp for governor next year — performed well at this weekend’s convention. Jones, when he declared in April, described Kemp as someone who, when needed, failed to fight — and that hasn’t escaped the notice of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
State legislators pushed Kemp last year to call a special legislative session before the January U.S. Senate runoff elections. The special session did not happen. Had such a special session occurred then state legislators likely would have addressed the appointed presidential electors and the implementation of laws limiting voter fraud in the general election runoff.
Kemp also would not use his authority to change the date of the state’s two U.S. Senate elections from January 5 to February 1 of this year. Moving back the date might have given members of the Georgia General Assembly additional time to coordinate and develop ways to prevent potential election fraud. Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue, respectively.
Republican officials in two Georgia counties in April formally censured Kemp on the grounds that he betrayed Trump last November.
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