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Tipsheet exclusive: GOP official condemns north Ga. push poll

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A north Georgia Republican official condemned on Monday a new push-poll disguised as a local party announcement leveling State Rep. Doug McKillip as an insincere GOP convert.

Oconee County Republican chief Jay Hanley said in a statement exclusive to Tipsheet that his group had received numerous complaints this weekend of a new robocall that leaves the distinct impression “they are coming from the Republican Party.”

The pre-recorded message begins with a deceptive introduction from “Elaine from Watkinsville Republicans” before polling respondents on their preference in the primary contest between McKillip and Regina Quick.

Those who indicate support for Quick, an Athens attorney, are merely reminded to vote in the July 31 primary, while those who select McKillip are treated to a torrent of negativity on the Democrat-turned-Republican lawmaker.

“We condemn the use of this ‘push poll’ tactic, particularly when it is falsely made out as if it’s coming from the Oconee County Republican Party,” Hanley said in a statement.

That the attack was a pitch-perfect rendering of Quick’s often assault on McKillip’s partisan conversion left some local Republicans concerned her campaign had orchestrated the call to boost her margin in next week’s vote.

But whether or not the rumors were true, Hanley said, Quick must join in the protest.

“If Ms. Quick’s campaign is responsible for this call, we demand that the campaign cease and desist with the identification of ‘Watkinsville Republicans’ in the call and end the calls altogether,” he said. “If her campaign is not responsible, we call on her to join us in condemning the call and push polling tactics.”

- James Richardson