Stacey Abrams, Shane Hazel, Brian Kemp

Three candidates for governor face off in the Atlanta Press Club Debate on Oct. 17, 2022. From left to right: Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel and Republican incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R).

Credit: GPBTV/Screenshot

The panel: 

Andra Gillespie, @AndraGillespie,  professor of political science and director, James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, Emory University

Donna Lowry, @donnalowrynews, host, GPB-TV’s Lawmakers

Emma Hurt, @Emma_Hurt, reporter, Axios Atlanta

Tamar Hallerman, @TamarHallerman, senior reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The breakdown: 

1. Georgians showed up in droves for the first day of early voting.

  • Vote tracking site shows more than 135,000 people in the Peach State have already cast their ballot. 
  • Around 125,000 people went out to vote Monday on the first day of early voting. 
    • Early voters remain largely older, in the 65+ age range. 
    • They are also majority white. 
    • And the majority of the voters are also women. 
  • Early voting remains open through Nov. 4. You can find your polling place here

LISTEN: Emory's Andra Gillespie breaks down this record turnout.


2. Gov. Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams share the debate stage for the first time since 2018.

  • Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel also appeared, holding 2.3% of the vote, according the the latest Georgia News Collaborative poll. 

    • In that same poll, Kemp leads in the race 51% and Abrams trails at 41%. 
  • Abrams and Kemp clashed on issues like abortion, public safety, and education. 

3. Kemp and Abrams face off over the state's budget surplus.

  • Abrams said Georgia’s record-setting budget surplus should be used to invest even more into education.
  • Kemp wants to use the surplus to provide more tax refunds. 

LISTEN: GPB's Bill Nigut and Donna Lowry discuss the different approaches to the surplus.

4. Herschel Walker declines invitation to Atlanta Press Club's debate, and instead participates in Sean Hannity town hall. 


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