Voting access dominates Georgia debate between Abrams, Kemp

ATLANTA (AP) — The first debate between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp in the race for Georgia governor was dominated by charges of voter suppression and counterclaims of encouraging illegal voting.

Disputes over voting access took center stage at the debate, highlighting Abrams’ historic bid to become the first black female governor in American history and the long-simmering politics of race in the Deep South. Kemp, who is white, continued to fend off charges that he’s using his position as Georgia secretary of state to make it harder for minority voters to cast ballots.

The race is being watched as a barometer for Democrats’ success in the midterm elections, as they try to make gains in Congress and in important state positions to counter President Donald Trump’s agenda.