The nationally-watched Georgia race for governor is about to get even more attention.
Vice President Mike Pence is headed to Georgia on Thursday for a trio of events in conservative areas for Brian Kemp. Democrats are countering with a visit by Oprah Winfrey, who will appear with Stacey Abrams at a pair of town hall meetings.
Polls show Abrams and Kemp in a statistical tie, and both campaigns want to rev up their base ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Abrams is trying to energize left-leaning voters who often skip midterms, while Kemp is relying on support from rural and exurban areas that powered Donald Trump’s victory in Georgia.
Winfrey’s “town hall conversations” are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta and 4 p.m. at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur. The events target two demographic caches Abrams is depending on to win Tuesday’s vote: suburban women and black voters.
Winfrey rarely campaigns in person for a candidate, and the announcement triggered a frenzy of attention. Tickets to the events were claimed almost as soon as they were unveiled.
This is Pence’s second trip to Georgia to stump for Kemp. He headlined a rally in Macon days before the July runoff, helping fuel Kemp’s runaway victory over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. He had to scrap two earlier campaign visits to the state in as many months because of hurricanes.
The vice president’s first event is set for 11:30 a.m. in Dalton, followed by a 2:30 p.m. appearance in the Augusta suburb of Grovetown and a 5 p.m. rally in Savannah.
A pair of even bigger names will round out the pre-election frenzy: Former President Barack Obama will appear at Morehouse College on Friday evening, while Trump will headline a rally for Kemp in Macon on Sunday afternoon.
Stay tuned to the AJC for live updates of both events. The live coverage of Pence’s event will start around 11 a.m., while Oprah’s event will start closer to noon.