Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp’s fiery first debate displays candidates’ differences

The first of two scheduled public debates between Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and incumbent governor Brian Kemp was ridden with fiery claims and brought up several key voting issues, including guns, abortion, and election integrity.

The Monday night showdown came just weeks before a repeat match-up between the two, who also vied for the position in 2018. Abrams, who has been lagging in polls behind Kemp recently, took the opportunity to point out what she believes are Kemp’s shortcomings since taking office. 

“Brian Kemp did make promises,” Abrams said of her opponent. “He promised to keep us safe, but crime has gone up. He promised to protect us, and yet he’s attacked our freedoms. He promised to take care of our families, and yet the rising prices in Georgia are rising because he refuses to expand Medicaid, because he refuses to tackle the affordable housing crisis.”

Kemp fired back at Abrams’ claims of his failings, arguing he had taken several measures to ensure a free and fair election in Georgia.

“I’m the person that created the online voter registration system in the state, where any Georgian can register to vote 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Kemp said. “So for someone to say that we have been suppressive in our state when we’ve seen turnout increase over the years, including with minorities like African Americans, Latinos and others, is simply not true.” 

Abrams responded to Kemp, who pointed out that she was behind in the polls. “I’m on the right side of history and on the right side of the issues,” Abrams said. “But we also know that polls are a snapshot. The question is: Who are they taking a picture of? I do not believe that I’m behind. I believe I’m making the case for Georgia.”

The two are scheduled to face off one more time before next month’s midterm elections. Early voting in Georgia began this week.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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