Candidate promises to fight back after making alleged 'threat' to activist on Facebook

ATLANTA — Activist call a Facebook post by a gubernatorial candidate a threat after lashing out a specific person.

Now the candidate’s campaign has promised a fight.

“It’s a threat,” Emory University’s Edward Queen said about the recent post on Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp’s Facebook page lashing out at local activist, Ray Dafrico.


“This is clearly beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior,” Queen told Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant.

Dafrico is seen in a photo with a megaphone holding a sign in the post. He is one of the leaders of a grassroots movement seeking to recall Kemp over recent voter data security breaches.

The post reads: "As Secretary of State, I battled the Obama Justice Department, Common Cause, New Georgia Project and the NAACP. I have stopped left-wing radicals from undermining our elections and our Georgia Values. This Democracy Spring activist, who wants to recall me, is next."

I have a proven track record of fighting - and winning - for Georgia. As Secretary of State, I battled the Obama Justice...

Posted by Brian Kemp on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Queen said to criticize the activist’s positions is one thing.

“To threaten, as I think is a clear and legitimate interpretation of this post, a private citizen with someone who has the resources of the government behind him, clearly crosses the line,” Queen said.

In a written statement Thursday, a representative for the Kemp campaign doubled-down saying:

"If these radical, left-wing activists need a safe space, they can camp out at Cal-Berkeley. If they want to manufacture fake news and try to remove Georgia Republicans from office, then get ready for a fight.”

“It’s happening in Washington. We don’t need it happening in Georgia,” said Gerald Griggs with the Georgia NAACP.

Griggs told Diamant that his organization is no stranger to political attacks.

“Attacking directly a voter or a citizen, not an organization, we expect in the political climate for organizations to be fodder for political banter, but not individuals who are exercising their freedom of speech,” Griggs said.

Diamant spoke with Dafrico by phone Wednesday, saying: “Brian Kemp has threatened me publicly. We’re not backing down. The petition is going forward, and it has only emboldened our movement. We will fight back.”