Georgia's Republican incumbent Governor tried to score points with voters by claiming his Democratic challenger lacked the support of law enforcement.
On Monday, October 17, three Georgia Gubernatorial candidates met on the Atlanta Press Club debate stage.
While five individuals made it onto the November ballot, only Democrat Stacey Abrams, Libertarian Shane Hazel and Republican incumbent Brian Kemp participated. But the press znd public's attention was clearly focused on Abrams and Kemp whose podiums flanked Hazel in the center.
The frontrunners parried on health care, crime and punishment and voting rights.
\u201cTonight: Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp debate. Kemp is everything that's wrong with GA. He signed voter suppression law sitting in front of a massive painting of a plantation. He has cost GA 10's of millions in lost revenue b/c of voting, abortion and gun legislation. Despicable.\u201d— Beachbaby5473 (@Beachbaby5473) 1666013142
In one particularly contentious moment, Kemp touted himself as the friend of law enforcement while claiming Abrams had no support from that segment of the electorate.
In a running theme for the night, Abrams called Kemp out on yet another "disingenuous" claim.
You can see the moment here:
\u201cFalsely accuse Stacey Abrams of being \u201cdefund the police\u201d and see what happens to you.\n\nThis is how it\u2019s done!\u201d— Christopher Webb\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8VOTE (@Christopher Webb\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8VOTE) 1666062604
In a segment where candidates could question one another, Kemp asked Abrams to name all the sheriffs who endorsed her for governor.
The fact law enforcement leadership would endorse the White male Republican over the Black female Democrat surprised no one except maybe Kemp.
But law enforcement is not just the mostly White, conservative men in charge—their departments include women and people of. And while Kemp knows law enforcement will always be on his side, marginalized communities don't enjoy that same privilege.
"Mr. Kemp, what you are trying to do is continue the lie that you've told so many times I think you believe it's true. I support law enforcement and did so for 11 years (in state government)."
"I worked closely with the sheriff's association."
The voting rights advocate added:
"Unlike you, I don’t have the luxury of slogans to describe my position on public safety. I believe that we need safety and justice."
"Like most Georgians, I lead a complicated life where we need access to help but we also need to know we are safe from racial violence."
"While you might not have had that experience, too many people I know, have."
People pointed out Abrams legislative record on funding law enforcement.
\u201cKemp tries to mislead the public on Stacey\u2018s law enforcement views, but the truth is that Abrams has a history of funding LE. \n\nUnlike Good ole boy Kemp, she looks out for ALL of GA though - not just LE. #MobilizeForMidterms #AbramsGA\u201d— MiaMarie #TeamShapiroBetoAbramsDemingsMcMullinRevW (@MiaMarie #TeamShapiroBetoAbramsDemingsMcMullinRevW) 1666048988
...while calling out Kemp’s record on guns and voting rights.
\u201cMr. Kemp signed a law that allows anyone in the state to carry a firearm without a license. Ms. Abrams has made that law one of her foremost criticisms of the governor\u2019s policy agenda, saying it endangers Georgians and could lead to more mass shootings. https://t.co/iUYntSTHLz\u201d— Linda Hill (@Linda Hill) 1666094989
\u201cOur republic has reached an inflection point akin to 1860. If all citizens are not equal under the law they're destined to be servants of an elite privileged class. That's Brian Kemp's view of POC and women in GA. Stacey Abrams will end their apartheid misogyny.\n#ResistanceUnited\u201d— Fidelis To Justice (@Fidelis To Justice) 1666451562
\u201cDirty Business: During the GA debate, Brian Kemp accused Stacy Abrams of \u201cencouraging voters to break the law.\u201d Stacy reminded Gov. Kemp that when she sued him in 2016 for voter suppression, a federal judge ruled, \u201cyou illegally canceled over 34,000 voter registrations.\u201d\u201d— M LeMont (@M LeMont) 1666071795
\u201cFACT CHECK: Stacey Abrams was right and Brian Kemp was wrong.. Federal law DOES NOT require dealers to conduct background checks for guns.\n#GAdebate\u201d— \ud835\udc40\ud835\udc52\ud835\udcc1 \u2648\ufe0f (@\ud835\udc40\ud835\udc52\ud835\udcc1 \u2648\ufe0f) 1666054556
\u201cKemp is detrimental to GA.\nWe lost the All Star Game AND the Music Festival...loss of millions of dollars!\nWe are losing more hospitals. He blocked the expansion of Medicare which hurts millions of seniors!\nThe new gun carry law exposes us to MORE guns!\nGA needs STACY ABRAMS!!\u201d— Shirley G (@Shirley G) 1666107312
\u201cThis is why we begged for help when Brian Kemp signed SB 202. This is why we are fighting hard for change and voting early for Stacey Abrams and not trusting a system established to STEAL our rights!This is why we are so disappointed in \u2066@KillerMike\u2069 https://t.co/86Eh9Ixar6\u201d— Zackory Kirk (@Zackory Kirk) 1666475932
\u201c@staceyabrams @EmbryEthan Cruelty and control is all Kemp\u2019s pro birther law is about. I\u2019m voting for a safe Georgia. I\u2019m voting for Stacey Abrams.\u201d— Stacey Abrams (@Stacey Abrams) 1666045273
In a written statement, Abrams declared:
“Since my campaign began, I have been honored to travel across the state hearing from and speaking with Georgians. Georgians understand we face complex problems, and they are eager for real solutions."
"I look forward to continuing to meet Georgians where they are and sharing my fiscally responsible plans to support Georgia’s families, teachers and law enforcement while pursuing a more equitable and accountable criminal justice system."
Addressing Kemp’s record, Abrams added:
"By doing what is right and investing Georgia taxpayers’ funds in our communities instead of tax kickbacks for Brian Kemp’s cronies and the wealthiest in our state, we can reduce healthcare costs, pay livable wages to state employees and create 64,000 new jobs."
"I will be a governor who raises our standards without raising our taxes and builds One Georgia that rises together.”
The Georgia governor's race is part of the 2022 midterms.
In-person voting is slated for Tuesday, November 8.