Kemp and Perdue to clash in Georgia GOP governor’s debate

Kemp and Perdue to clash in Georgia GOP governor’s debate

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and top Republican challenger David Perdue will meet Sunday for the first of three scheduled debates over the next eight days as they and other Republicans try to persuade voters to nominate them for governor.

The debates come as time grows short to persuade the many Georgia voters who will cast ballots ahead of primary election day on May 24. Counties can begin mailing absentee ballots Monday and early in-person voting begins May 2. Perdue skipped runoff debates in late 2020 in his U.S. Senate reelection race, which Perdue lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff.

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Perdue is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who has been focused on defeating Kemp. But Kemp has maintained a lead in fundraising and in the polls thus far as he seeks a second term. Besides Kemp and Perdue, the primary includes Republicans Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor and Tom Williams. A runoff would be held June 21 if needed.

Both Kemp and Perdue are telling supporters that they are the best Republican to defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams, unopposed for her party’s nomination, in a narrowly divided Georgia that has rapidly become one the nation’s key swing states. Libertarian Shane Hazel and independent Al Bartell are also on the November ballot.

Perdue says only he can unify Trump lovers who don’t like Kemp with other Republicans and suburban swing voters. He also promises a gradual elimination of the state income tax, giving Buckhead residents a right to vote on seceding from Atlanta and strengthening state police.

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