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Tamar Hallerman

Georgia police group floats holding rally during Ted Cruz’s Newnan visit

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Ted Cruz, a GOP candidate for president, signs an autograph for his supporter Deb Marks (right) of Columbia, S.C., during the Georgia Republican party state convention in Athens on Friday. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during a visit to Athens last year. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

If you wanted any more proof that law enforcement has become the dominant issue ahead of next week’s GOP runoff in Georgia’s 3rd congressional district, look no further than the latest announcement from the state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The group said it was so disappointed that former GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz is backing state Sen. Mike Crane that it is thinking about holding a rally outside of the Newnan venue where the Texas senator will be campaigning for the congressional candidate on Friday.

From Randy Robertson, vice president of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police:

“We are very disappointed that Senator Cruz would support Mr. Crane at a time when the men and women of Law Enforcement are being murdered at a rate that is 100% greater than last year at this time. With the recent events in Dallas, Texas, I find it sad that Senator Cruz would allow himself to be pulled into the political cesspool by a candidate who has openly promoted shooting law enforcement officers.”

The hubbub stems from Crane’s remarks about no-knock warrants at a GOP gathering this spring. Click here for a full refresher that includes a transcript and video. The comments have prompted a deluge of attack ads from opponent Drew Ferguson, a dentist and the former mayor of West Point, and counter-attacks from Crane.

Cruz is the highest-profile Republican to drop by the 3rd so far in the increasingly bitter race to replace the retiring Lynn Westmoreland.

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In separate but related news, the Ferguson campaign announced on Wednesday that it has won the backing of former Gov. Sonny Perdue.