Stacey Abrams and other statewide Democratic candidates at a unity event in Atlanta.

Georgia Dems to focus on ‘solvable problems’ in general election 

Seeking a contrast with feuding Republicans, the top of the Georgia Democratic ticket held a unity event Monday to highlight the party’s plans to expand Medicaid , juice the economy and pour more funding into the k-12 education system.

Stacey Abrams and Sarah Riggs Amico – the nominees for governor and lieutenant governor – call them “solvable problems.” And both offered a solution aimed at Republicans who control every lever of state government.

“We will help them get it done by taking over in November,” said Abrams.

It was a hint of a broader general election focus from the party’s statewide candidates, which also included former Rep. John Barrow – who is running for secretary of state – and attorney general contender Charlie Bailey.

All avoided contentious runoffs, a luxury Republicans don’t have.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are warring with each other ahead of the July 24 runoff. So are the GOP candidates for two other top offices, lieutenant governor and secretary of state. 

The eventual GOP nominees will likely try to frame their Democratic opponents as too liberal for Georgia, but for now they’re scrapping with each other over divisive issues including gun rights and loyalty to President Donald Trump. 

In their stead, Georgia GOP chair John Watson has focused the party’s fire on Abrams and the roughly $50,000 in back taxes she owes.

“A 'solvable problem?’ Real world translation: ‘Raise your taxes,’” said Watson, adding that a Medicaid expansion could lead to an onerous new tax burden for residents. “Before Abrams forces this tax increase on Georgians, she should pay her own.” 

Abrams, Amico and Barrow have each been trying to capitalize on the nine-week runoff to raise cash and reach voters. Abrams, for one, said she’s focused on expanding the machinery built for the primary campaign that she said contacted nearly 2 million voters.

“We are going to have the biggest turnover in November that the state has ever seen,” said Abrams.  

Here’s a few of our most recent stories on the GOP race for governor:

A Trumpish Tweet in Georgia’s GOP runoff for governor 

A 'Deal/Cagle team' without the governor (for now) 

GOP race for governor could hinge on support for Trump 

Cagle, Kemp pick a fight with Atlanta mayor over detainee order 

As Georgia Republicans scrap, Abrams hits the late-night circuit  

Hollywood makes a cameo in Cagle-Kemp battle  

Kemp campaign gets big bucks from the people he regulates  

Campaign cash shows Cagle is favorite with Georgia Capitol lobbyists  

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.