The line of demarcation in Georgia’s governor’s race between Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp is crystal clear. However, both candidates support Atlanta’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2 location.
Kemp defers to current Governor Nathan Deal regarding negotiations. Kemp also has not canceled out the possibility for tax breaks, enticing Amazon. Kemp promises to review every tax incentive, ensuring that each enticement “creates more economic opportunity than it costs.”
Abrams supports the bid if there are “smart tax incentives and purposeful investment” tied to the proposal.
“I think Amazon bringing 50,000 high-paying jobs to Georgia is a wonderful thing,” Abrams said. “But we have to make certain that any tax incentive packages are smart investments, investments that actually ensure that those jobs are actually high-paying jobs, but also ensure the communities around them benefit from those investments.
Undoubtedly, America’s most-watched governor’s race got even more divisive on August 1st: former President Barack Obama formally endorsed Abrams. Obama’s endorsement is below:
“I am so excited to endorse Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia. She’s not running a campaign built on division or distraction; she’s running to lead one Georgia where everybody has opportunity, and everybody’s voice is heard. And she’s got the record of building consensus that shows she can deliver – with good jobs, great public education, expanded Medicaid, and secure, affordable health insurance for everyone. In a time when too many folks are focused simply on how to win an election, Stacey’s somebody who cares about something more important: why we should. That’s the kind of politics we should practice. That’s why I’m proud to give Stacey Abrams my support.”
Meanwhile, the Republicans have sharpened their swords. Immediately after Obama’s endorsement, the Kemp campaign repudiated the former president’s support.
“It’s no surprise President Obama and every left-wing, radical politician in the country is backing Stacey Abrams for governor,” said Ryan Mahoney, communications director for Kemp’s campaign. Kemp’s people also made sure to note in 2008 and 2012, Georgia was a red state.
Kemp issued a four-point plan if he were to be elected Nov. 6.
- Make the business environment better by cutting regulations and taxes
- Reduce government reach and spending, including by capping spending at a formula based on population growth and inflation while reducing the state income tax
- Strengthen rural Georgia, in particular by expanding high-speed internet access
- “Put Georgians first” by reforming public safety. He mentioned the need to better combat the growing gang problem in Georgia (he mentioned the fact that Georgia has become a major distribution hub for Mexican drug gangs).
Conversely, Abrams has a five-point plan specifically for Georgia’s economy, if elected Nov. 6:
- Small Business Growth: Expand access to capital through a $10 million investment in small business financing programs that reach all communities
- Infrastructure Investment: Make jobs-rich infrastructure investments
- More Skills, Fewer Barriers: Produce 22,000 new apprentices by 2022
- Local Jobs and Local Products: Utilize more Georgians and Georgia products in our public projects
- An Open and Inclusive State: Defend a pro-business reputation of openness and inclusion