Today, Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams and State Senator Elena Parent held a press conference outlining what will be at stake for Georgians in the general election gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. From gun safety to reproductive freedom and access to affordable health care, Rep. Williams and State Sen. Parent described crucial issues that are on Georgia voters’ minds as the general election begins.
Download a recording of the press conference here.
“Brian Kemp has had four years as governor — and in that time he’s gambled with our lives, made our communities less safe, and prevented hundreds of thousands of Georgians from accessing health care,” stated Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams. “In Brian Kemp‘s Georgia, thanks to his new criminal carry law, it’s easier for criminals to carry concealed handguns without a permit or its background check process. In Brian Kemp’s Georgia, we’re staring down a future where abortion is criminalized, banned before most women even know they’re pregnant. And in Brian Kemp’s Georgia, over 500,000 people are denied access to lifesaving care. We have the second highest uninsured rate in the country. Kemp’s decisions are driven by what’s best for his political career, not what’s best for the people of Georgia. But we have an opportunity with this election – we can reject the prospect of living in Brian Kemp’s Georgia for another four years.”
“We’ve seen Georgia under Brian Kemp as governor — he’s made decisions that have risked our lives, from loosening gun safety laws to pushing to criminalize reproductive rights and denying over half a million Georgians access to lifesaving health coverage. These actions are disqualifying for someone who wants to hold our state’s highest office,” said State Senator Elena Parent. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a chance to elect a governor who puts the people first, whose priority is helping others, and who’s focused on creating a Georgia where everyone has a shot to succeed — Stacey Abrams. Stacey has consistently proven that she’s relentless when it comes to fighting for what she believes in — and she believes in Georgians. She cares about people, and when she’s governor, she’ll work for everyone who calls our state home.”
BACKGROUND ON KEMP’S RECORD:
Gun Safety: Kemp made it a top priority to sign a dangerous new “criminal carry” bill into law that makes it easier for criminals to carry concealed handguns without a permit or its background check process. The law has drawn concerns from law enforcement officers and mayors, and is opposed by 70% of Georgians. A pro-Second Amendment group also worried it could have a detrimental impact on public safety. The extreme “criminal carry” law creates a new loophole by eliminating part of the background check process which anyone wanting to carry a concealed firearm currently must undergo. States that weakened their firearm permitting system saw up to a 15% increase in violent crime. Georgia has the 17th highest rate of gun deaths in the nation, and its rate of gun deaths increased 41% from 2011 to 2020.
Reproductive Freedom: Kemp has bragged on the campaign trail about signing “the toughest abortion bill in the country,” which banned abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, and praised a Texas abortion ban that puts bounties on the heads of medical providers. Now, he’s showing his extremism by refusing to rule out holding a special legislative session to enact even more dangerous restrictions on women’s reproductive rights if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and lawmakers have reported “hearing rumors” that he may do just that.
Access to Affordable Health Care: Kemp remains opposed to expanding Medicaid, which would provide access to affordable, lifesaving health coverage for over 500,000 Georgians, create more than 64,000 jobs, extend a lifeline to rural hospitals facing closures, and reduce the state’s uninsured rate — which is the second-highest in America. 38 states — including many under Republican governors — and Washington D.C. have expanded Medicaid. Read more on the positive impact Medicaid expansion would have on Georgia’s rural communities, Georgians’ health outcomes, the state’s uninsured rate, and Georgia’s economy.