Michael Williams’ campaign said he was forced to cancel an Athens stop of his “deportation bus tour” because an earlier event in DeKalb County turned violent. The county’s authorities say that’s not true.
DeKalb County police issued a statement late Wednesday saying multiple officers on the scene “did not observe any violence or criminal activity” targeting the longshot candidate for governor.
The department said officers investigated an anonymous 911 call that said protesters were “getting violent” and wouldn’t allow the bus to leave.
Here’s the rest of the statement:
Upon a police supervisor and officers arrival at the scene, they did not observe any violence or criminal activity. The DeKalb County Police Department reached out to Senator Williams’ campaign after learning of the media release.
The DeKalb Police Department has not received a response from Senator Williams. If anyone encountered violence or any criminal activity at the site, the individual(s) is urged to immediately contact the DeKalb County Police Department.
In other pushback, a popular chain restaurant is warning the state senator not to hold stops on its property.
After word spread that several of the bus tour’s events would be held outside Cracker Barrel restaurants, the company sent word that it was barring Williams from bringing his campaign to their stores as part of a longstanding policy not to host political events.
Here’s the full statement:
At Cracker Barrel, we work hard to foster a culture that is welcoming and inclusive for our guests and employees, founded in mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. Cracker Barrel is not a political organization and has no party or political affiliation. Our focus is on delivering our mission of Pleasing People and serving everyone who walks through our doors with genuine hospitality, not politics.
We are not sponsoring this event or supporting Mr. Williams’ campaign stops in any way, and per our company policy, we will not allow him – or any political candidate – to host an event on Cracker Barrel’s property. We take pride in showing our communities and our country that the hospitality we practice is indeed welcoming and inclusive to all.
Williams is one of five Republican candidates for governor, and recent polls show him at 3 percent of support. Democrats are trying to make him the face of the Georgia GOP, while his better-known rivals are ignoring him.
The five GOP candidates for governor will gather tonight at 7 for the Atlanta Press Club debate. We’d imagine the rhetoric on illegal immigration will come up a time or two.
In endorsement news today:
Former U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland backed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s campaign for governor.
Ex-presidential candidate Gary Bauer and the Campaign for Working Families endorsed Republican David Shafer’s bid for lieutenant governor.
The Georgia Right to Life PAC backed Republican Josh McKoon’s campaign for Secretary of State.
Democrat Lindy Miller’s campaign for Public Service Commission nabbed the endorsement of former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, environmental activist Laura Turner Seydel and ex-6th District candidate Jon Ossoff.