The final debate in Georgia’s hotly contested governor’s race may not happen. Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign tells The Associated Press that Sunday’s debate is off because Republican candidate Brian Kemp is attending a rally around the same time with U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump’s rally is scheduled for 4 p.m. about 100 miles south of Atlanta.
Abrams spokeswoman and campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a statement, “Brian Kemp says he wants to be our next governor, but he’s breaking his promise to show up for the job interview. This isn’t a surprise since his entire career has been defined by his failure to keep his commitments. Whether defaulting on a half a million dollar loan he personally guaranteed, abandoning his responsibilities as Secretary of State to campaign on the taxpayer’s dime, or kicking thousands of pregnant women off Medicaid, Kemp has proved he can’t be trusted to show up for Georgians.”
A spokesman for Kemp confirmed he cannot appear at Atlanta’s WSB-TV station for the 5 p.m. debate but says Kemp is willing to find another time slot. The Abrams’ campaign said her schedule is booked until Tuesday’s election, but that she’ll replace the debate with some kind of public Q&A with voters. She and Kemp held one previous debate during the campaign.
WSB-TV News Director, Misti Turnbull issued a statement:
“Our No. 1 concern is giving Georgia voters what was promised, and that is a debate with all the candidates. As in past major elections, we work to bring the candidates together in a debate forum so the viewers and their constituents can hear each candidate’s responses to pressing questions. We are continuing to work toward alternatives, but at this point, the campaigns have not agreed on an alternative time. If the candidates can come to an agreement, we will honor our commitment.”
Additional reporting from Marshall A. Latimore from The Atlanta Voice.