Carolyn Bourdeaux, a candidate for Lawrenceville Republican Rob Woodall’s seat, took aim at fellow Democrat David Kim during a televised debate Tuesday for not voting in the 2016 election.
“When Donald Trump was running against Hillary Clinton we saw him having rallies where they had a woman in a cage and the people in the rallies would scream, ‘Lock her up! Lock her up!’” Bourdeaux, a Georgia State University professor, said during an Atlanta Press Club Debate on Georgia Public Broadcasting.
“Donald Trump would also threaten Secretary Clinton. We knew that he was racist. We knew that he would dismantle environmental protections. We knew that he would try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. My question for you is: Why didn’t you vote in 2016?”
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Kim, the founder of a tutoring business, said the 2016 election “woke me up, like a lot of people.”
“You can blame us or join us,” he said. “Like many Americans, I was focused on my family, my faith and my work.”
“To win, we are going to have to inspire thousands of folks — first-generation immigrant families who have the ability to vote – who are eligible – but have not,” he continued. “We need to bring them in, not scare them off.”
In her rebuttal, Bourdeaux called voting a “sacred trust.”
“It is something very important that we do,” she said. “I just want to raise the concern that this is something you are going to need to defend. It is a big jump to go from never having voted to running for the U.S. Congress.”
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In an interview after the debate, Kim said he would have cast his ballot for Clinton had he voted. Bourdeaux said she voted for Clinton. They are competing for the Democratic nomination against four others, Kathleen Allen, Melissa Davis, Ethan Pham and Steve Reilly. Their debate touched on a variety of hot button issues, including gun control and efforts to impeach Trump. The candidates also complimented each other. When it was his turn to pose a question, Pham asked Allen who she would support if she were not running.
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“I would support Steve Reilly because he has a long history in Gwinnett County,” said Allen, who works for a nonprofit healthcare provider. “He is a true-blue Democrat. He is about as progressive as I am.”
A lawyer, Pham said he would support Davis, if he were not in the race.
“We share similar backgrounds – similar experiences — and we share similar values,” he said. “I believe that because she has lived in the district for a number of years that she will be a good representative for the people of District 7. She will make a wonderful congresswoman.”