MARIETTA, Ga. - Crime is “filling our homes with fear” according to a candidate running for governor.
Republican Brian Kemp is calling for new measures against gangs and what he calls “criminal illegal aliens.”
"Every week there’s another violent crime, another drive-by shooting," Kemp said, citing media reports, during an event in the Marietta Square.
Kemp says as Governor, he will target gang members and "criminal illegal aliens."
"I’m running for governor to put Georgians first, ahead of those who are here illegally and people who are breaking the law. If they happen to be one demographic or another, I can’t control that," Kemp said in response to a question from 11Alive News.
Secretary of State Kemp is running in the Republican primary against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, former state Sen. Hunter Hill, businessman Clay Tippins and state Sen. Michael Williams. Williams has also targeted crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
"This is a blatant appeal to white fears of 'the other,'" said Doug Teper, a Democrat who served in the state legislature with Kemp and now teaches at Georgia State University.
With Donald Trump on the ballot in 2016, 88 percent of Georgia’s Republican primary voters were white, according to an NBC exit poll. Teper says the appeal to crime works.
"In a Republican primary coming up May 22, there’s a concern about how do you get voters out? And one of the best ways to get them out is to scare them," Teper said.
Asked if voters should be scared, Kemp said: "Well, I think parents are scared. I wouldn’t want to speak for voters but yeah it’s troubling. It’s scary."