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“I’m running for governor because I know that we have to have a conversation about who we are in this state and what we want for each other and from each other,” Abrams said during a speech at the Gwinnett Democrats’ Bluetopia Gala in Norcross, according to audio posted by the Gwinnett Daily Post.
“I am tired of hearing about how we’re the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live,” she said.
Abrams acknowledged such a statement would be “politicized” and further explained that her state has lots of room for improvement on issues like mental health and incarceration.
“Let me contextualize,” she said. “When you’re No. 48 for mental health, when we’re No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that’s on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live.”
“Georgia is capable of greatness, but we need greatness to be in our governor’s office. We need someone who actually believes in bringing all of us in there together,” she added.
Abrams, who is worth over $3 million and as of last year owned at least two houses in Georgia, later doubled down on her “worst state” comment on Twitter, writing that her Republican rival, Gov. Brian Kemp, “doesn’t care” about Georgians.
“GA may be #1 place for biz, but we’re #48 in mental health, #2 in uninsured. #1 in maternal mortality & new HIV cases, #9 in gun violence,” she wrote. “For too many, Kemp’s Georgia doesn’t include them. Why? Because #KempDoesntCare. As Governor, I’ll lead #OneGeorgia that’s #1 for all of us.”
Kemp fired back against Abrams in a tweet, saying Georgia “is the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”
During her speech, Abrams said Kemp “has failed so miserably on so many accounts,” including his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
“You don’t have to be a Democrat to know that climate change is real. You don’t have to be a Democrat to understand that criminal justice reform is the way forward,” she said. “Brian Kemp just doesn’t care.”