Fire alarm interrupts Georgia governor’s debate

Arturo Kim
October 24, 2018

He has tried to portray Abrams as "too extreme for Georgia".

"During Stacey Abrams' college years, Georgia was at a crossroads, struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the Confederacy, the sharpest of which was the inclusion of the Confederate emblem in the Georgia state flag", read a statement from Abrams' campaign, first obtained by The New York Times. There was a broader movement, including efforts by students and prominent groups, seeking to remove the Confederate symbol from Georgia's flag.

"What I've asked for is that you allow those that are legally eligible to vote, to allow them to cast their ballots", she said.

Democrat candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams and Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp greet each other before a debate Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Atlanta.

Abrams participated in a "permitted, peaceful protest against the Confederate emblem in the flag" a statement said.

During the protest, in 1992, the state's flag contained the Confederate battle flag emblem. The latest, 2003 iteration of the Georgia state flag erases the "Stainless Banner" altogether.

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Abrams was coming off a fresh boost from Hollywood's Black elite, which helped add $300,000 to her war chest through a fundraising effort Sunday night in Atlanta. In August 2017, after the violent white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., Ms. Abrams injected the issue of Confederate memorials into the governor's race by calling for the removal of the giant Confederate carving on Stone Mountain, a granite outcropping east of Atlanta, noting, correctly, its ties to white supremacy and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Meanwhile, Kemp has said he would protect the monument, which depicts Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from the "radical left".

"Voter suppression is not simply about being told 'no, ' " Abrams said. "Confederate monuments belong in museums where we can study and reflect on that awful history, not in places of honor across our state".

The two sides of Georgia's heated gubernatorial race appeared on stage together for their first debate Tuesday and familiar themes were on hand for the candidates, except a fire alarm about 5 minutes into the program.

Abrams' criticism of the free market echoes her previous claim about not needing "Conservative values to win in Georgia'".

"There are 7 million people that have correctly filled the form out", Kemp said, referencing the state's registration total, "and (Abrams is) blaming me for a few that couldn't do that or they simply don't exist".

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