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Governor unloads on Biden administration during Freedom Rings Celebration
Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp (left) shakes hands with Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Kirkland on Saturday at Freedom Park. Kirkland presented Kemp with a basket filled with products from Rincon businesses.In the background from left are Congressman Buddy Carter, Mayor Ken Lee and Springfield First Baptist Church Pastor Eric Green. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
Bernard Martin
Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Kirkland recognizes Veteran of the Year Bernard Martin on Saturday at Freedom Park. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — Gov. Brian Kemp took an opportunity to chime in on a hot political issue while speaking at the Freedom Rings Celebration at Freedom Park on Saturday

Kemp lashed out the U.S. Department of Justice and Biden administration for suing Georgia over a law enacted in March “that makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat.” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the lawsuit Friday morning, just three days after a sprawling Democrat voting rights bill failed at the federal level.

“This is all driven because they were unsuccessful passing an unconstitutional mandate and a takeover of elections at the federal level,” Kemp said, “so I guess this is appeasing the base. This is really hard to understand how they would want to sue a state that is actually expanding access for weekend voting.”

Garland argues that Georgia’s Election Integrity Act is intended to deny or abridge voting opportunities for Blacks. The governor counters that Georgia allows greater ballot access than several Democrat-controlled states, including Delaware — President Biden’s home.

“(Delaware) has less days of early voting than we do,” Kemp said. “They didn’t even have any in the last election. You have to have an excuse to vote early by absentee by mail in Delaware. You don’t have to have an excuse in Georgia.

“We are actually adding early voting days, actually expanding access.”

Kemp vowed to vigorously fight Biden administration “lies” about the bill.

“They are not being truthful,” he said. “It’s all a politically driven agenda but we are going to fight back because we have the facts on our side and we just encourage everyone to read the bill, and listen to what the facts are. They are not standing in front of television cameras like I am answering every single question that I’ve gotten about Senate Bill 202 — the Election Integrity Act — but we are and that’s what we are going to continue to do and we look forward to fighting that in court of law.”

Kemp, who twice defeated the Justice Department in court while Georgia’s secretary of state, spoke shortly after 11 a.m. following the conclusion of the Effingham Heroes Parade arrived at the park. The parade cast a spotlight on local first responders and featured a variety of entries from businesses and civic groups.

Mayor Ken Lee presented Kemp with a key to the city made by Gerbasi Signs. The mayor said he believes Kemp is the first governor to visit Rincon. 

In addition, Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Kirkland gave the governor and First Lady Marty Kemp a basket filled with items from Rincon stores.

In another act of special recognition, Bernard Martin was named veteran of the year, He received a handshake and a memento from Kirkland.

Martin served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

The Freedom Rings Celebration featured food trucks, vendors, games and music. It concluded with a large fireworks show.