Georgia GOP candidate defends support for police after opponent alleged he endorsed shooting cops

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Sen. Mike Crane (left), R-Newnan, and Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, confer in the statehouse. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Mike Crane doesn’t want to let his opponent for the 3rd District congressional runoff get away with allegations that the state senator endorsed shooting police officers in the aftermath of the Dallas sniper attack

The Newnan Republican is out with a new attack ad this morning aimed at his opponent, dentist and former West Point mayor Drew Ferguson. It’s a direct response to an ad Ferguson’s camp unveiled last week that focused on Crane’s stance on no-knock warrants. The spot also seeks to underscore Crane’s support for law enforcement.

The ad opens:

“Words can’t describe how despicable and disgusting Ferguson’s attack is. He should be ashamed.”

The spot then cuts to an old photo of Crane’s father in front of his police cruiser and later a picture of his uncle in his uniform:

This is officer Bill Crane, Mike Crane’s father. And this is officer Roger Crane, he’s Mike’s uncle. Mike Crane supports the work of police officers, not just because they keep our families safe, but because police officers are his family too.” 

Ferguson’s ad, which was scheduled to begin airing Friday but was delayed until today in deference to the Dallas shootings, features a Harris County sheriff commenting on Crane’s remarks about no-knock warrants at a GOP gathering this spring. Here’s more about those remarks, from a post last month:

“You come to my house, kick down my door — if I have an opportunity, I will shoot you dead,” Crane said.

An “amen” can be heard in the recording, coming from the crowd.

“And every one of you should do the same. It is the only area where the law enforcement community and I differ,” Crane said. “But they have to understand the law.”

Here’s the video that provides more context for Crane’s remarks:

Ferguson spokesman Dan McLagan had this response to Crane’s new ad:

“I’m sure Mike Crane wishes he could take his words back but the fact is that words matter. Leadership matters. He said he’d shoot cops dead if they served a warrant at his home and he said it multiple times in speeches and to reporters on camera. He said it and, worse, he meant it.”

Crane and Ferguson are facing off in the GOP runoff on July 26 to replace the retiring Lynn Westmoreland in the 3rd.

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