This November could mark a historic point for the state of Georgia, as it could elect its first black and female governor, something that no other state in the nation has done.
All eyes are on Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp in these last few months of the nationally watched Georgia gubernatorial race. Abrams is the Democratic candidate and former House Minority Leader for Georgia running on the ideologies of debt forgiveness and tolerance, and Kemp is the Republican candidate and former Secretary of State for Georgia running on his conservative values.
Recently, a poll was conducted by The UGA School of Public and International Affairs that said Kemp has 45.3 percent of voter support and Abrams has 44.9 percent of voter support, putting them virtually in a tie.
“No one would like to see a woman in the governor’s office more than me, but I just don’t believe she [Abrams] has what it takes, fiscally and experience-wise, to take on the role of governor,” said Vickie Thomas of Carroll County, “I just don’t see the majority of Georgians voting for Abrams.”
Kemp supporters call on his experience as Secretary of State for Georgia and his maturity as their primary reasons for backing him. “Since Georgia is a conservative state,” said Thomas, “Kemp’s values align more with those of Georgians.”
Many Republicans like strategist Brian Robinson still believe Kemp has enough influence and support to maintain Georgia as a red state.
Kemp has resided in Athens, Georgia for his entire life, where he graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree of Science in agriculture. He has been married to his wife Marty Argo for 24 years.
Abrams was raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, and her parents moved their family to Atlanta when she was young. Abrams graduated from Spelman College and later earned her law degree from Yale Law School.
“I plan to vote for Stacy Abrams in the election,” said Erin Frew of Atlanta, “ I would like to see what Stacy Abrams can do in regards to combating homelessness by implanting new affordable housing reforms.”
Frew said that she supports Abrams’ stance on reforms in the affordable housing market in regards to the gentrification problem that is happening in Metro Atlanta cities, and her stance on environmental issues such as car emissions and Georgia’s renewable energy initiatives.
“This shows the viability of her becoming governor is real. This is going to be something she can take all across Georgia and say, ‘I can win this race, but I need your help,” Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson said to WSBTV in regards to the UGA poll.
“I think Abrams could bring much needed change in ideology to Georgia,” said A. Julissa Cañas Escobar, an immigrant student at Oglethorpe University.
“I fear his [Kemp’s] governorship because I think he will lean towards the far right on all of his decisions, causing voter suppression, disadvantages and injustice towards minority groups, and lack of helpful healthcare policies, and I feel this will take Georgia in a retrogressive path,” said Cañas Escobar, when she expressed her support of Abrams, “I think Abrams could bring much needed change in ideology to Georgia.”
The race is going to come down to one thing, and that is, who shows up to vote. The majority of rural Georgians still hold true to their Republican past while the people who live in Georgia’s metropolitan areas are more likely to embrace and support change.
At this point, nobody can be certain what the results of the election will be, but many people have speculation on who will prevail. “I think Kemp will win based on the direction our nation is going in, in regards to politics,” said Frew, “when it comes down to people who don’t know anything about the candidates, they tend to vote for the person who they’ve heard be mentioned more.”
“He [Kemp] will win, because the president has endorsed him, the endorsement helped him to overtake Casey Cagle in the primary, and I believe that it will have the same effect on the general election,” said Thomas, “most Georgians support President Trump whether or not they are willing to admit it, and that will help to push Kemp over the edge.”
Cañas Escobar, said that “more than likely Brian Kemp will win the election. This is because I have a hard time believing that Georgia voters, who in their majority voted for Trump, won’t stay in the traditional lane of voting in Republicans to office, especially when they have the support of Trump.”
Many people feel that way, like Thomas and Frew, who both agree that more than likely Kemp will win this election based on the ways that the state of Georgia has voted collectively in the past.
Frew had a warning for eligible Georgia voters, “If you do not vote, then you have no right to complain, because it is your fault that the person that you supported did not win.”
General elections take place on Tuesday November 6, and early voting is currently happening. You can check where your nearest polling station is on the Secretary of State’s website: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections