The bright campaign buses of Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates stopped in Madison last Monday as both Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp made a mad dash across the state to gain more ground in an already neck and neck race before the Midterm Election this Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Kemp, current Georgia Secretary of State and Republican contender for governor, held a campaign rally at Amici’s Madison Monday afternoon while Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and Democratic candidate for governor, held a campaign rally at Madison’s City Meeting Hall. Both events drew hundreds of supporters and political allies as each candidate touted their vision for the State of Georgia. Kemp travelled with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and U.S. Congressman Jody Hice, who urged voters to cast their ballots for Kemp. Abrams travelled with Alabama Congresswoman Terry Sewell, Sarah Riggs Amico, candidate for Lt. Governor, and Charlie Bailey, candidate for State Attorney General, who urged supporters to vote Democrat ‘up and down the ticket.’
Candidates at both rallies promised voters a better future under their leadership if elected.
Abrams pledged to invest heavily in Georgia’s public schools, expand Medicaid, expand mental health programs, reform the prison system, and to diversify and grow Georgia’s economy to create more jobs with better wages. Kemp pledged to cut taxes, lower health care premiums, invest in public education, protect the Hope Scholarship, and to “protect conservative values including the Second Amendment.”
Kemp and Abrams criticized each other, warning voters that this election would decide the course of Georgia’s future.
“We are literally in a battle for the soul of this state,” said Kemp, who accused Abrams of having a “radical, liberal agenda” in the vein of President Barak Obama’s “socialist” agenda. Kemp alleged Abrams would bankrupt the Hope Scholarship by allowing illegal immigrants to utilize it and that she would enact a “radical government takeover” of the healthcare system.
Abrams accused Kemp and the Republican party of ignoring “the biggest slow-motion disaster facing Georgians today,” which she said was the healthcare crisis sweeping the state. Abrams said Kemp’s only solution to the lack of affordable healthcare coverage is to “just trust private insurance companies” that are “selling shotty, junk plans” to citizens. “That is not right for the State of Georgia and Kemp is not right for the Governor of Georgia,” said Abrams.
Abrams and Kemp shared their personal journey into political leadership.
Abrams told a story about almost being turned away from the Georgia Governor’s Mansion as a teenager by a security guard when she was invited to join a celebrations with her fellow Georgia valedictorians.
“He told me, ‘You don’t belong here,” remembered Abrams, who said her parents had to insist repeatedly that she was a Georgia valedictorian invited to the event before the guard finally let her in and sneered at them.
“The only thing I remember about that day is man standing in front of the most powerful place in Georgia looking at me and telling me I don’t belong,” said Abrams. “But with you all standing with me on Nov. 6 we are going to open those gates wide. Because we know that behind those gates is a building, a house, that represents all of who we are in the State of Georgia and in that building we can have a leader who sees all of Georgia who understand we have to educate our children from cradle all the way to career, that we have to invest in our earliest and youngest Georgian and that we cannot have another ‘Education Governor’ of Georgia but we need a ‘Public Education Governor of Georgia.”
Kemp, who touted his combined 30-plus-year experience in the private sector and public office as the reason Georgians should elect him Governor, said he first got into politics out of frustration with “big and inefficient government.” Kemp.
“I am still fighting that today. As Governor, I will work hard everyday to continue the legacy of Nathan Deal and Sonny Perdue with good, solid conservative leadership.”
Each rally featured prominent elected officials and political candidates.
Governor Deal and Congressman Hice, among others, vouched for Kemp to Morgan County voters.
Deal was eager to pass the torch to Kemp.
“We are leaving this state in very good hands,” said Deal, who claimed under his two-terms as Governor, over 750,000 jobs were created in Georgia, unemployment dropped from 10.4 percent to 3.7 percent, and the state’s ‘rainy day fund’ has swelled to over $2.5 billion, and the State of Georgia has been ranked number one in the country in which to do business for five consecutive years. Deal warned that if Abrams were elected, she would not have the support of the legislature and could hinder the Republican’s Party’s efforts to redistrict congressional lines.
“I am confident that Brian Kemp is the one to lead our state forward to continue the degree of success we have had,” said Deal.
Hice stressed President Donald Trump’s support of Kemp to Morgan County voters.
“You know I am honored to be part of making America great again along with the President of the United States. We were all shocked under Obama how the constitution was abandoned and our liberties were tramped upon by a president with a socialist agenda,” said Hice. “That’s being fixed now. And our President has come out loud and clear with his support for the next Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp.”
Political supporters of Abrams urged Morgan County voters to cast their ballot for Abrams and all Democratic candidates on the ticket to ensure “the protection of the American Dream” and a future that will create more opportunities for all Georgians regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation or political affiliation.
Charlie Bailey, who is running for State Attorney General, described Abrams as an “incredible candidate” that would join him in the “fight for the hardworking people of Georgia against special interests and corrupt politicians.”
“We will stand in between the people and the forces that would do them harm,” said Bailey.
Sarah Riggs Amico, who is running for Lt. Governor, stressed the importance of every vote for every Democrat to ensure the American Dream could be protected and expanded.
“I am so proud to be part of this ticket,” said Amico. “I truly believe we are eight days away from not only making history, but of electing candidates that will truly make a difference in the lives of millions and millions of people…We are the candidates that represent the ideals that have made this country the land of opportunity for centuries,” said Amico who said the Democrats would work to reward hard work and provide equal opportunity.
Amico criticized elected Georgia republicans for only fully funding public schools once in the last 16 years, and noted Georgia’s schools are ranked 35th out of the 50 states in the country.
“There are some roadblocks to that American Dream right now in Georgia,” said Amico. “We know we have to pay our educators like the professional they are so they can invest heart and souls into the dreams of our kids.”
Congresswoman Sewell stressed the importance of this election and urged listeners to not only vote, but compel others to vote.
“Take souls to the polls,” said Congresswoman Sewell. “I am here to tell you that you do not want that man to be your governor…Don’t get sad about it, get mad about it and vote,” said Sewell, who urged listeners to take advantage of Georgia’s early voting.
Early voting in Morgan County ends on Friday Nov. 2. You can cast your ballot early at the Morgan County Board of Election and Registration, located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Nov. 6, voters can only cast their ballots at their designated polling place and not at the Board of Election and Registration Office.