Here's What You Need To Know About Abrams-Kemp Governor Debate In Georgia

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Republican incumbent Brian Kemp and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams faced off during a debate on Monday (October 17) as they both again vie for the governor's seat in Georgia.

Kemp and Abrams, who ran against each other for the position in 2018, were joined by Libertarian nominee Shane Hazel on the debate stage, where they sparred on issues of health care, crime, and voting rights, per CNN.

The stakes were arguably the highest for the major party candidates as they presented their closing arguments in their fierce rematch for governor.

During Monday's debate, the incumbent governor took every opportunity to link Abrams with President Joe Biden, who has struggled to maintain a high approval rating among Americans during the first half of his term.

“I would remind you that Stacey Abrams campaigned to be Joe Biden’s running mate,” Kemp said.

“Georgians should know that my desire is to continue to help them fight through 40-year high inflation and high gas prices and other things that our Georgia families are facing right now, quite honestly, because of bad policies in Washington, DC, from President Biden and the Democrats that have complete control,” he added.

Kemp faced questions Monday about remarks he made at a University of Georgia tailgate. While with the College Republicans of UG, the GOP governor expressed that he may be interested in banning contraceptive drugs like "Plan B."

When asked if he would push such legislation if reelected, Kemp said " “No, I would not” and that “it’s not my desire to” push further abortion restrictions.

Abrams was asked about the position she took during her 2018 concession speech after Kemp narrowly won the governor's seat.

In the speech, the voting rights activist said she wasn't conceding the contest and would only "acknowledge" Kemp as the winner because he and his allies had unfairly worked to suppress minority voters.

Abrams made it clear Monday that she would accept the results of the upcoming election and again accused Kemp of trying to dilute minority voting power through the state’s new restrictive voting law, SB 202.

“Brian Kemp was the secretary of state,” Abrams said, referring to her opponent’s prior job. “He has assiduously denied access to the right to vote.”

When the floor opened for candidates to question one another, Kemp went after Abrams' relationship with law enforcement.

“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),” Abrams said. “I worked closely with the sheriff’s association.”

“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,” she continued, before turning to Kemp. “While you might not have had that experience, too many people I know, have.”

Kemp, though, kept his messaging simple. “I support safety and justice,” he said.

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