ATLANTA – Candidates in the close-knit race for the Governor of Georgia pounded Tuesday night in a debate broadcast live on Georgia's public broadcasters, on Facebook Live and on the Internet.
The debate was briefly interrupted by a fire alarm in the studio. But soon, the candidates were back in the air, hotly discussing the issues of Medicaid expansion, their personal financial histories, and their voter registration.
The debate was the first time that Georgia voters had a chance to see key candidates Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp – go head to head in a close, highly competitive and potentially historic race. The libertarian candidate in the race, Ted Metz, also participated.
Part of the debate focused on Mr. Kemp, who was criticized for a long list of actions that his critics say have either discouraged or discouraged people, especially non-whites, from voting. A recent report by the Associated Press showed that due to a law that Mr. Kemp supported, his office has withheld the voter registration of more than 50,000 people, most of them black, because of the perceived issues with their registration forms.
"Undersecretary Kemp, more people have lost the right to vote in the state of Georgia," said Abrams. "They were cleansed, they were oppressed and they were scared."
Mr. As in the past, Kemp argued that he facilitated the vote in Georgia. "If you look at the numbers, the minority stake in Georgia has increased by 23 percent," he said. "Today we have a million more people in our electoral rolls than when I took office."
The allegations of voter suppression are "a farce" that should distract from what he called "woman." Abrams' outmost agenda, including proposals he referred to as "government takeover of public health services"
. Abrams has asked Georgia to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, as other states have, and defended the idea on Tuesday evening, pointing out that Vice President Mike Pence had done so when he was Governor of Indiana was
master. Kemp did not post a 1992 incident reported in the latest news, in which Ms. Abrams burned Georgia's state flag in a protest. At that time, the national flag contained the flag symbol of the Confederates, a draft passed in the 1950s by a defiant segregationist state legislature; The flag has since been changed.
But a journalist in the panel asked Ms Abrams about it. "Twenty-six years ago, as a freshman, I was, along with many other Georgians including the Governor of Georgia, deeply disturbed by the segregation embedded in the state flag with this Confederate symbol," Ms. Abrams replied. "I did a peaceful protest, I said that was wrong, and 10 years later, my opponent Brian Kemp actually voted to remove that symbol," she said, referring to Mr. Kemp's term in state senate.
The format of the debate included a round of questions that the candidates asked each other. Many of these questions were bank shots seeking a rival's view of an accusation against the other, leading to refutations and rebuttals that sometimes even seemed to briefly confuse the moderator.
A Second Debate Is Scheduled for November 4 Days Before Election Day
Although Metz's chances of winning the race may be low, if he can win more than a few votes, he could be both Kemp and Abrams deny an absolute majority and force them to drain in December. Mr. Metz, a former employee of the insurance industry, spoke about the myriad benefits of industrial hemp and said that the election for him was a protest vote against the "oligarchs who lead the planet".