Gay GOP group endorses Brian Kemp for governor

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The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans endorsed a GOP incumbent state lawmaker over a gay attorney challenging her and reiterated its support for Brian Kemp.

Kemp, who faces former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in the governor's race on Nov. 6, was among nine candidates Log Cabin backed in endorsements released on Sunday. The list included Republican candidates with anti-LGBTQ records.

The group first endorsed Kemp in July just as the Republican nominee vowed to continue supporting anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” legislation. Kemp said he’ll veto “religious freedom” legislation that goes beyond a version that's been federal law for nearly 25 years. But LGBTQ activists said the bill he supports is still discriminatory and sets a dangerous precedent.

In the recent endorsements, Log Cabin backed state Rep. Geoff Duncan for lieutenant governor over LGBTQ ally Sarah Riggs Amico. In 2016, Duncan voted in favor of an anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bill that sparked a national controversy and provoked threats of a boycott of Georgia from the entertainment industry, tourism officials and scores of leading businesses. Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the bill after it passed both chambers of the legislature.

The group endorsed incumbent Republican Mark Butler for labor commissioner over LGBTQ ally Richard Keatley. And it endorsed incumbent Republican Tricia Pridemore for public service commissioner over Dawn Rudolph, who nabbed the endorsements of Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats.

The group made picks in a handful of state House races, including going with Rep. Meagan Hanson over gay attorney Matthew Wilson in House District 80 in Brookhaven.

Hanson introduced an LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes measure in this year’s legislative session. Language from that bill was tacked onto another bill, but it failed to pass before the session ended.

Anti-transgender tweets authored by Hanson emerged in the final days of her 2016 contest against Democratic incumbent Rep. Taylor Bennett, an LGBTQ ally whose mother and sister are gay. Hanson narrowly defeated Bennett in the race.

In the House District 81 race in Atlanta, the group endorsed Ellen Diehl over Rep. Scott Holcomb, a Democrat endorsed by Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats. Log Cabin also picked attorney Alex Kaufman over attorney Josh McLaurin in House District 51 in Sandy Springs. They picked Houston Gaines over Rep. Deborah Gonzalez in House District 117 in Athens. 

Gaines dropped a woman from his campaign leadership team in June after she wrote a series of anti-LGBTQ Facebook posts on the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The full list of Georgia Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsements is below.

Brian Kemp for Governor 
Geoff Duncan for Lt. Governor 
State Labor Commissioner – Mark Butler 
State Public Service Commissioner – Tricia Pridemore 
Rep. Beth Beskin – House District 54
Rep. Meagan Hanson – House District 80 
Ellen Diehl – District 81 
Alex Kaufman – District 51 
Houston Gaines – District 117 


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