Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams is in the middle of a heated election battle against Brian Kemp to be the next governor of Georgia. This is somewhat curious because, if you asked Abrams a few years ago she would tell you that she was already elected governor. But be that as it may, her campaign is cranking out television advertisements in a typical effort to sway more voters. One of the more recent ones takes aim at Kemp’s approval of a law loosening restrictions of legal gun ownership. To make the case against the law and Kemp himself, the Abrams campaign enlisted “Dennis,” a “former deputy sheriff” to explain why Kemp is dangerous and how the new law is making Georgia less safe or something. But there’s one problem with this ad that was identified by the Free Beacon this week. “Dennis” is a divorce lawyer who never served as a law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia. (He did serve for a few years in Florida in the 90s.)
Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams is out with a new ad that uses a “former deputy sheriff” to argue that Abrams’s opponent is making the state “less safe.” There’s just one problem: That officer never served in Georgia.
In a July 12 ad titled “Dangerous,” Abrams’s leadership PAC, One Georgia, employs a “former deputy sheriff”—who is identified only as “Dennis”—to claim that Republican governor Brian Kemp “may talk tough” but “makes us less safe.” But “Dennis” never patrolled the mean streets of Atlanta—or any Georgia street, for that matter. “Dennis” is LGBT attorney and Democratic activist Dennis Collard, a Florida native who worked as a police officer in the Sunshine State from 1994-1999, his LinkedIn shows. Collard—who, according to his LinkedIn, uses pronouns he/him—went on to join an Atlanta-based law firm in 2003, roughly 13 years before he founded his own divorce firm in Atlanta.
Here’s the advertisement, which really isn’t all that remarkable except for the actual identity of the supposed deputy sheriff.
As I said, the substance of the advertisement really isn’t all that noteworthy, but it does raise a more serious question that the Free Beacon explored. According to US Bureau of Justice Statistics, Georgia has at least 26,500 sworn police officers spread across 628 law enforcement agencies. And Stacey Abrams couldn’t find a single one of them willing to endorse her and appear in her campaign ad? Surely they can’t all be Republicans. And yet nobody was willing to stand up for her?
Perhaps that’s not as far-fetched of an idea as it might seem at first. Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum is quoted as saying that law enforcement officers are aware that Abrams is still actively engaged with the “defund the police” movement even as the nation is facing a rising tide of crime. She is on the board of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. That group has an initiative with the stated goal to “transform, defund, and abolish police.”
When you have something like that on your record, even liberal, Democratic cops (and yes, there are some of them out there) are probably not going to be offering you their support. After all, you’re working to end their careers or at least make it harder for them to do their jobs. Why would they appear in a campaign advertisement for you?
More recently, Abrams has tried to distance herself from the foundation, claiming that she doesn’t necessarily agree with their position on the police. But she’s still on the board and the group’s website proudly declares that the board supports those goals and lists Abrams on the page by name. It sounds like someone is trying to have their cake and eat it too, but the cops aren’t falling for it.
Crime, along with high prices and inflation, is among the top concerns cited by Georgians in recent polls. With that as a backdrop, it’s kind of amazing that Stacey Abrams is even doing as well as she is thus far. The race remains competitive, but this news should provide an opening for Kemp to fire back at her and note her lack of support from law enforcement during a period of unrest like this.