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Georgia Gubernatorial Debate airing tonight on WCTV, Valdosta State professor shares perspective on race

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT
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SOUTH GEORGIA (WCTV) - At 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, the second of three debates in the Georgia Gubernatorial race will take place as the primary in May is less than a month away.

Former U.S. Senator David Perdue is challenging incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp for the Republican nomination.

An associate professor of Political Science at Valdosta State University shared his perspective on what the public can expect to see.

“Usually the party out of power has an intense primary, and the party in power has the incumbent just walk back. And here, it’s the opposite,” Dr. Bernard Tamas said.

Instead of focusing on the general election, incumbent Gov. Kemp is battling Perdue in their second debate.

“This is a real battle that could shift,” Tamas said. “It’s a very odd situation and it’s a sign of where the Republican Party is.”

Tamas said the two candidates’ policies are pretty similar, but Perdue is supported by former President Donald Trump, while Kemp is not.

“Kemp did not go along with arguing the 2020 election has been stolen,” Tamas said.

He expects election fraud to be another major topic again in the second debate.

“How much does Donald Trump still influence the Republican Party?” Tamas said.

Gov. Kemp says this election will be about more of the same: Keeping the state moving in the right direction.

“Doing things like keeping our economy open, so you have enough revenues that you’re able to suspend the gas tax for two months, which we’re fixing to do because of what we’re seeing in Ukraine and inflation before the war started on gas prices to give Georgians some relief at the pump,” Kemp says.

Perdue says he believes the primary election is going to be about people versus the politician.

“I’m running against an incumbent governor, which is unusual, but he’s been in office for 20 years, and I just believe that we’re divided as a party. That’s why i got in here.”

Looking ahead to November, Democrat Stacy Abrams is running unopposed in 2022. Thomas says her policies are distinctively different from the Republicans.

“I think when you get to the general election, you will see a very interesting battle coming. One of the biggest races in the country,” Tamas said.

WCTV anchor Edan Schultz will be a moderator on the debate panel. Tune in to WCTV at 7 p.m. to catch the action.

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