Stacey Abrams Trounces Brian Kemp At Georgia Debate

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During a debate this week in the Georgia governor’s race, Democratic pick Stacey Abrams, a former state legislative leader and current voting rights activist, tore into rhetoric and deception from Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who is running for re-election and facing Abrams a second time.

“Mr. Kemp, what you are attempting to do is continue the lie that you’ve told so many times,” Abrams told the incumbent after he leaned into characterizing Abrams as distant from law enforcement. “I think you believe it’s the truth. I support law enforcement and did so for 11 years, worked closely with the sheriffs’ association. I’m probably the only person standing here who’s ever actually written an SOP for a police department when I was working for the city of Atlanta… Unlike you, I don’t have the luxury of relying on slogans to describe my position on public safety. I believe that we need safety and justice.” Abrams also discussed the often dangerous experiences Black people have faced when confronted by police. She noted one of her brothers has dealt with such a thing.

Kemp followed up Abrams’s comments by deceptively tying the Democratic contender to the “defund the police” campaign and claiming she wasn’t receiving any support from sheriffs, to which Abrams countered that she both has such support and isn’t stopping there as though that’s enough. “I have to have conversations with the entirety of Georgia,” she said. “I don’t have the luxury of being a part of a good old boys’ club, where we don’t focus on the needs of our people.” Abrams also discussed reproductive rights and gun safety.

“Let’s be clear,” she said. “I believe that we can protect the Second Amendment and protect Second Graders at the exact same time. That means that, yes, more people are buying guns, but that’s because they think that’s the only way to protect themselves because guns have flooded our streets. These are communities that want to be safe. They don’t want to have to carry weapons… Because of the criminal carry law that Brian Kemp signed into law, there is no longer a background check for those who have concealed carry permits.” GOP officials elsewhere have pursued similar aims. Last year, Texas officials enacted new rules allowing Texans to publicly carry handguns without permits. Certain figures in law enforcement expressed concerns. “The entire process was done to appease a certain block of voters, to appease a very, very vocal, active group that were just demanding that they be allowed to carry guns,” the executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association said.

As for abortion, further restrictions on the procedure also mirror GOP ambitions nationwide. “This is a governor who for the last four years has beat his chest but delivered very little for most Georgians,” Abrams said. “He has weakened gun laws and flooded our streets. He has weakened our privacy rights and women’s rights. He has denied women the access to reproductive care. The most dangerous thing facing Georgia is four more years of Brian Kemp. We need a governor who actually understands the math and the morality.” Polling suggests the race is close, with Kemp slightly in the lead as of recent numbers — although polls are always inherently imperfect. Watch below: