After targeting Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida, with outrageously racist robocalls, an Idaho-based neo-Nazi group has reportedly been using the same tactic in Georgia, where another black candidate is engaged in a similarly hotly contested gubernatorial race.
Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who’s vying to be the nation’s first black female governor, was targeted last week in a racially charged robocall funded by the white supremacist group Road to Power, The Daily Beast reported. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who’s campaigned door-to-door for Abrams, was also attacked in the prerecorded message.
The voice on the robocall, which went out to an unknown number of Georgia voters, identified itself as the “magical negro Oprah Winfrey.”
“I see … potential in Stacey Abrams,” the voice said. “Where others see a poor man’s Aunt Jemima, I see someone white women can be tricked into voting for, especially the fat ones.”
Abrams and her Republican opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, both denounced the racist robocall, The Associated Press reported. Kemp called the message “contrary to the highest ideals of our state and country.”
Abrams’ campaign, in condemning the robocall, added a jab about Kemp’s most prominent supporter ― President Donald Trump ― who will be traveling to Georgia to stump for him on Sunday.
“These automated calls are being sent into homes just days before President Trump arrives, reminding voters exactly who is promoting a political climate that celebrates this kind of vile, poisonous thinking,” Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said, per AP.
Kemp had been scheduled to debate with Abrams on live television at the same time as Trump’s Georgia rally, but he canceled his participation last week ― prompting Abrams to call him out for callously “breaking promises” to Georgians. The candidates’ first debate on Oct. 23 had been heated, with Kemp defending himself against accusations of voter disenfranchisement.
In a blow to Kemp and his campaign, a federal judge ruled on Friday that Georgia must ease its “exact match” law, which requires that a person’s information on voter applications matches precisely what is on state databases ― such as use of a middle name or initial. Kemp, who is in charge of state elections and voter registration as Georgia’s secretary of state, had championed the law as being critical for election integrity.
Road to Power, which the Anti-Defamation League has described as a white supremacist and anti-Semitic group, has funded at least two racist robocalls against Gillum in recent months. Polls have shown Gillum, who would be Florida’s first black governor, running neck-and-neck against his GOP rival, former Rep. Ron DeSantis.
Polls also show a tight race between Abrams and Kemp.