Speed Reads

Last dance

Kemp and Abrams spar over crime and public safety in final Georgia gubernatorial debate

Georgia gubernatorial candidates Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Stacey Abrams (D) met for one last televised debate before the midterm elections on Sunday. Their second and final debate focused heavily on issues such as crime, guns, and public safety. 

Kemp beat Abrams by a narrow margin in their first matchup for governor in 2018, and recent private and public polls show he has a lead of 5-10 points, per The New York Times. As the incumbent, Kemp spent much of the debate defending his political track record, while Abrams attempted to place the blame for increased violent crime on his shoulders, Politico reports.

When asked the first question about crime, Abrams responded, "I would encourage people to indeed look at the governor's record. Under his four years, violent crime has gone up, gun violence has gone up. This is a statewide challenge, and we have a governor who's only focusing on parts of the issue." 

Kemp defended himself by accusing Abram of deflecting. "Ms. Abrams is going to attack my record because she doesn't want to talk about her own record," he said.

The governor attempted to link Abrams to the movement to defund the police, using a 2020 interview with a cable news network where Abrams stated she supported the reallocation of police resources to other areas, per Politico. Abrams responded to the allegations, stating, "He is lying again. And I've never said that I believe in defunding the police. I believe in public safety and accountability."