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Abrams, other Democratic candidates, hold rally at square

For the second time in a week, Stacey Abrams made a stop in Troup County. Last week, she took a tour of Kia, and Tuesday she and other Democratic candidates campaigned on Lafayette Square in downtown LaGrange.

Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, did her best to rally would-be voters just one week before election day. Her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, was also campaigning on Tuesday, though he is not scheduled to make a stop in Troup County before voters head to the polls. Kemp spoke at a LaGrange Rotary Club meeting in March and his wife, Marty, spoke in September at a Troup County Republican meeting.

Abrams, if elected, would be the first African American woman to ever be elected governor in the United States.

“I don’t want anyone to vote for me because I’m black. Lindy (Miller), Sarah (Riggs Amico) and I don’t want anyone to vote for us because we’re women. And none of us, including Charlie (Bailey), want any of you to vote for us because we’re Democrats,” Abrams said Tuesday. “We want you to vote for us because we’re better.”

Abrams made note of voter suppression allegations against Kemp, saying that her supporters should vote early, rather than wait for election day.

“If we all vote on election day, somebody is going to get away with something,” Abrams said. “If we cast our ballots, cast our lots (early), we will know where we are, so when we vote on election day, we’re just batting cleanup.”

Abrams started the afternoon with a quick trip inside Charlie Joseph’s, where she ate lunch. As she was grabbing a bite to eat, other Democratic candidates were at the square, talking to voters and rallying the crowd for the gubernatorial candidate.

House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, Public Service Commission candidate Lindy Miller, attorney general candidate Charlie Bailey and Lt. Gov. candidate Sarah Riggs Amico all spoke as well.

Several hundred people were at the square to hear Abrams and the other candidates speak. After the rally, Abrams was available for several media questions, including how she views the use of medical marijuana in the state of Georgia. A medical marijuana commission was formed earlier this year and two men from Troup County — Sheriff James Woodruff and businessman Dale Jackson — were appointed to the commission by Gov. Nathan Deal.

“I think it’s important to take the results of the commission,” Abrams said. “But I will tell you that my fundamental belief is that as a member of the house is we have to create medical marijuana as a legal substance in the state of Georgia. It cannot be legal if you have to commit a felony to bring it into the state, so I want it to be cultivated and distributed within the state of Georgia.”

Troup County has voted for the Republican candidate for the last two decades in the governor’s race and Georgia hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1998. Abrams and Amico believe that can change this year.

“I think the size of that crowd and the enthusiasm speaks volumes,” Amico said after the rally. “I think what we are seeing right now is an electorate that is changing. If I was a Republican right now, I’d be very nervous. The deep red counties are some of the places we are getting the best response and biggest crowds.” 

Early voting is going on now at the Troup County Government Center and ends on Friday. On election day, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. For more on voting, including how to find your precinct, visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov