HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams made a third campaign stop in Hiawassee, three days before the General Primary election, this time arriving by motor coach with his campaign “deportation bus” trailing closely behind. According to a tour schedule posted on Williams social media page, the candidate was due to stop at Hardee’s on Main Street this afternoon.
The district manager of the fast-food chain asked Williams to leave upon arrival, however, telling FetchYourNews (FYN) beforehand that she learned of the candidate’s itinerary a few days prior from a customer who saw the Facebook post and complained.
“Hardees isn’t affiliated with this at all,” District Manager Debbie Cantrell said. “Once we learned of his plan to stop here, we tried to contact Williams’ campaign, but we weren’t able to reach anyone. We tried leaving a message, but the inbox was full. I plan on asking him nicely to leave when he arrives. This is a business and we can’t have that.”
That is what occurred when Williams and his crew arrived exactly on time at 12:30 p.m. “They were very polite,” Cantrell said.
The controversial bus proceeded to the Save-A-Lot parking area, directly behind Hardees, and Williams stepped off the motor coach he occupied.
Soon to greet him was a woman, distraught by the spectacle. “Which bus are you riding on? Why do you want to round everyone up?” the angry citizen asked Williams. “I think your bus is awful.”
Williams calmly explained that the purpose of the bus is to bring attention to illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, noting state bill 287-G, a deportation plan that the senator supports. After speaking with Williams on a number of different issues, including his advocacy for medical marijuana, the voter told FYN that she is neither for nor against Williams, and has not yet decided on whom to cast her vote for Georgia’s next governor. The woman declined to provide her name. “I still think that bus is terrible,” she said as a final thought, walking toward her vehicle to leave.
While turnout was scarce, several motorists passed, honking their horns while waving in support.
FYN spoke with Olivia Angel, a member of Williams’ campaign crew, who readily shared that she is a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Philippines. When asked, Angel said she joined Williams’ campaign because he is “very smart, fair, and loves the constitution.” Angel said she agrees with the statement the bus makes.
“Illegal immigration isn’t right,” Angel expressed. “They need to fall in line, shouldn’t be on welfare, and we shouldn’t spend our taxes to support them. They need to work hard, and do things the right way, the way that I did.” Angel stated that she joined Williams’ campaign approximately a year ago.
The bus docked in Hiawassee for 22 minutes before leaving for its next appearance at a pizza restaurant in Jefferson, Georgia. Whether it was welcomed or shunned at that particular location is unknown.
Williams told FYN that the reception his bus has received has differed. “People darted in front of it in Griffin yesterday. Someone broke a supporter’s camera, and one spit on some other supporters,” Williams said.
Griffin is a city in Spalding County, an area of metropolitan Atlanta. Williams said the bus has been equally appreciated by others, however.
The General Primary election will be held Tuesday, May 22.