Forsyth County Republican Party sees large turnout at fundraiser for Governor Kemp

Kimberly Bond

(Forsyth County, GA) Crowds gathered at the Reid Barn on Majors Road on the evening of Monday, September 19, for a barbecue and fundraiser for Brian Kemp, the incumbent Republican candidate for Georgia’s governor. Approximately 400 people, including many former and current elected officials from local and state offices, attended the event to show their support.
Governor Brian Kemp addresses the crowd Monday evening at the Reid Barn.(Photo/Kimberly Bond)

Beginning at 6 pm, attendees enjoyed a barbecue dinner in the barn. Guests discussed local and state politics while they mingled.
Attendees enjoyed barbecue before hearing from state and local candidates.(Photo/Kimberly Bond)

Jerry Marinich, chair of the Forsyth County Republican Party, noted the crowd's size, “We had a great turnout for the Governor. He won big in the last election, he’s going to win big in this one.”

Andrew Abbott, chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans, said the Forsyth County Young Republicans group is one of the strongest in the state. He mentioned that because of their support, there will be a door-knocking campaign during the last weekend in September for Republican candidates.
Guests mingled indoors and outdoors thanks to the cooler evening temperatures.(Photo/Kimberly Bond)

Mike Valdes, a Republican running for the Forsyth County School Board in District 5, and Carter Barrett, the Republican nominee for Georgia State House in District 24, mingled with other guests during dinner. Local leaders including Sheriff Ron Freeman, Alfred John (R), and Todd Levent (R), who serve as Forsyth County Commissioners for District 2 and District 3 respectively, also attended the event. Levent mentioned that they had raised commitments for Kemp that evening amounting to around $200,000.

After the dinner, everyone headed outside to hear Governor Kemp and other candidates speak. Lauren McDonald (R), who is running for reelection to the Georgia House of Representatives in District 26, opened the remarks. Brent Cox, the Republican candidate for the Georgia House in District 28, gave the invocation.

Cindy Mills (R), who serves as Forsyth County Commissioner for District 4, introduced Governor Kemp.

“I’m so honored to be a part of this event tonight for the greatest governor in the country,” Mills said. “What a great showing – Forsyth County has showed up. This is what is best for our state, for my grandkids, for generations to come,” she declared.

“We’ve got an incredible team in the state of Georgia and we need to keep it together on November 8th,” proclaimed Kemp. “Marty [the First Lady] and I are getting up every morning to make sure Stacey Abrams is not going to be your next governor – or your next President,” Kemp said to cheers from the crowd.
Governor Kemp's speech addressed inflation, taxes, and support for law enforcement.(Photo/Kimberly Bond)

During his speech, Governor Kemp addressed issues like inflation, law enforcement, pandemic challenges, and the struggles of small business owners, noting that it had been his choice to suspend the gas tax since March despite the loss in revenues. He defended his choice to “re-open” Georgia before other states during the pandemic and credited this decision with Georgia’s current robust economy.

“We have to save lives, but also livelihoods,” added Kemp.

Before concluding his speech, Kemp endorsed Dr. Rich McCormick, a former Marine pilot and ER surgeon who is the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. He also announced his plan for a one-time property tax relief grant worth approximately $1 billion to return some funds to property owners struggling with higher property taxes.
Gov. Kemp endorsed Dr. Rich McCormick, who is running for Georgia's 6th Congressional District.(Photo/Kimberly Bond)

Referencing the historic fundraising in the Georgia governor’s race, Kemp concluded by saying “[Abrams] has raised 86% of her money from out of state, but they can’t vote here – and you can.”

Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams campaigned in Forsyth County the day before the Kemp fundraiser, on Sunday, September 18. Read Stacey Abrams among democratic candidates featured at Forsyth County rally to learn more about that event.
Stacey Abrams campaigned in Forsyth County at a Sunday afternoon event.(Photo/Forsyth County Democrats)

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I'm a writer, editor, and journalist with a background in law and science. I love writing about interesting local places and events in Forsyth County, especially new businesses or family-friendly experiences.

Cumming, GA

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