Debate Recap: Abrams, Kemp and Industrial Hemp

Tuesday night’s debate between the three candidates for Georgia governor may not have changed minds in what has been a heated partisan race between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams, but it did leave Georgians Googling the name “Ted Metz” and the phrase “Industrial Hemp.”

For many, the debate was their first introduction to Ted Metz, the Libertarian candidate for governor and his plans to solve many of Georgia’s problems with Industrial Hemp.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the debate.

Stacey Abrams wants Medicaid expansion more than you thought: Each of the three candidates tried to stay on message, usually focusing on a single point they wanted to drive home to voters. For Abrams, that topic was Medicaid expansion, which she sees as a silver bullet solution for more than just health care. Abrams cited the expansion plan as the solution for rural unemployment and criminal justice reform.

The Quote: “[Medicaid Expansion] will create 56,000 jobs in Georgia, 60 percent of which are outside the metro Atlanta area. It will provide access to healthcare and it will help stabilize those economies.” -Stacey Abrams

Ted Metz’s Silver Bullet is Industrial Hemp: Tim Metz wants Georgians to think more about Industrial Hemp and its potential to solve a slew of problems. Metz cited Industrial Hemp as a solution to everything from unemployment to global warming. 

The Quote: “Industrial Hemp is a product that  can create jobs in Georgia and can create prosperity. There are 25,000 different uses of industrial hemp from fiber to food to fuel to industrial chemicals anything oil can do, hemp can do in a carbon negative fashion.” -Ted Metz

Do you think Stacey Abrams is radical or extreme? Brian Kemp sure does: Kemp brought his oft-repeated campaign refrain of painting Abrams as a radical leftist with extreme plans for Georgia into the debate. He took every opportunity to tell voters that Abrams was too “extreme” for Georgia and to remind them that he represents shared “conservative values.”

The Quote: “Not even California is that liberal.” -Brian Kemp

Do you think Brian Kemp’s performance as Secretary of State disqualifies him from the governor’s seat? Stacey Abrams sure does: Abrams repeatedly took jabs at Kemp for his performance as Secretary of State. Citing lawsuits and voter-purges, Abrams laid out the argument that Kemp wasn’t qualified to govern the state due to the way he has run one department in the state.

The Quote: “This is someone who has to be held accountable to do his basic jobs. He’s been sued by the military for refusing to allow soldiers overseas to cast ballots. He was sued by nonprofit organizations for his failure to process properly thousands of registrations and a federal judge forced him to restore 34,000 illegally canceled registrations.” -Stacey Abrams

Ted Metz thinks the race is headed for a runoff: At one point during the debate, Metz encouraged voters to cast a protest vote for him, stating that the race was going to end in a runoff anyway, and this first election would be a way to show the democratic and republican parties how voters feel about them. He may be right. If the race between Abrams and Kemp is close and Metz is able to win more than one percent of the vote, the race could go into a runoff.

The Quote: “I’m here before you to ask for your vote. This is gonna be a runoff anyway. If you’re tired of the two party system and the two party tyranny of the oligarchs running the planet then a vote for me is a protest vote to show them that you’re sick and tired of the same old stuff.” -Ted Metz

Abrams once burned a state flag, but she’s a proud Georgian: The first question asked of Abrams was about her participation in burning the state flag in 1992 as a protest of the confederate emblem that was once a part of it. Abrams called it an act of “peaceful protest” and reminded voters that a decade later, Brian Kemp voted to change the “stars and bars” version of the flag. She then talked about the reforms she planned to make if elected governor and called herself a “proud Georgian.”

The Quote:” I took an action of peaceful protest, I said that that was wrong and 10 years later my opponent, Brian Kemp, actually voted to remove that symbol.” -Stacey Abrams

Kemp isn’t resigning and he wants you to remember Cathy Cox:

When asked about calls by democrats for his resignation, Kemp was more than happy to name drop Cox and remind voters that he isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. Also, in case you missed it, he reminded voters that the local elections offices handle the vote counting.

The Quote: “I’m doing the exact same thing that democrat Cathy Cox was doing when she was running for governor.” -Brian Kemp


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