ATLANTA — With just over a month until early voting begins for Georgia’s gubernatorial election, both campaigns are gearing up for their rematch of the 2018 election.
Channel 2′s Karyn Greer sat down one-on-one with both Governor Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.
Georgians have just 62 days to decide who they want to be the state’s next chief executive, so Greer asked them tough questions about the issues that matter the most to you.
Gov. Kemp points out Abrams’ work campaigning for President Joe Biden as a major red flag for Georgians.
“Stacey Abrams helped Joe Biden get elected, she gets a lot of credit for that. Now Americans and Georgians are seeing what we’re getting with those policies in Washington: five dollar a gallon gas, 40 year high inflation,” Kemp said.
“I am absolutely proud to stand beside President Biden as we invest in Georgia and as we make Georgia stronger. But I also intend to use the surplus generated by a Biden economy to ensure that we are investing in the future of Georgians.
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Georgia’s constitutional carry law, which allows people to legally carry concealed handguns in public without a state license or permit, has both candidates, and many voters, at odds.
“We passed constitutional carry last year to give law-abiding citizens the ability to protect and defend themselves. You know, the other side is calling it criminal carry. I’ve got news for them, the criminals are already carrying,” Kemp said.
“He’s made it easier for domestic abusers to terrorize their families. He’s made it easier for those who are mentally ill to gain access to weapons, and he’s made it easier for felons to escape attention and to use the loopholes of private gun sales and gun shows to get access to weapons,” Abrams countered.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Greer asked Kemp if being one of the first to reopen their state is a decision he would make again.
“I was listening to those cosmetologists and beauty shop owners and barbershop owners and restaurant owners. I mean, they were begging me. They were like, ‘We are fixing to lose everything we’ve got,’” he explained.
“32,000 Georgians are dead and while we may celebrate economic opportunity, we cannot ignore the human cost,” Abrams said.
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Another big ticket item on voters’ minds is Georgia’s controversial heartbeat law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
“Women are making their voices heard and we know that Brian Kemp’s extreme abortion ban is hurting women and it will change the tenor, and I think the trajectory, of this election,” Abrams said.
“We have to be very sincere about this issue, but also educate people and have them understand what our values are like in this state, and that’ll be debated in the General Assembly, you know, in the months and years to come,” Kemp said.
Both sides are dueling over what to do with the budget surplus, whether that is boost education and infrastructure or give Georgians a rebate.
Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 8.
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