Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp will not appear on stage with his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams at what would have been their final debate, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported Wednesday.
Kemp will not appear at the debate, which was scheduled to be in Atlanta on Sunday, due to a campaign event he is scheduled to headline alongside President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in Macon, Ga., around that time.
Kemp’s announcement reportedly led to a dispute between the two candidates.
Though Kemp reportedly pulled out of the debate, his campaign pointed The Hill to a statement shared on his official Facebook page, stating that he offered to reschedule “multiple days, times and venues” but alleged that Abrams refused.
“At WSB-TV’s request, businessman Brian Kemp has agreed to debate this Monday, November 5, at 7:30PM. He is now waiting on Stacey Abrams to accept the station’s invitation,” the post reads.
“We offered multiple days, times, and venues to debate. Sadly, Stacey Abrams refused and cancelled the debate,” the post continues. “Now, we have accepted another gracious invitation from WSB-TV to debate on Monday night. Will Abrams join Kemp on the debate stage or just continue to hide from her radical record and extreme agenda?”
Abrams’s team, however, accused Kemp of “breaking his promise” and said she will explore other avenues to answer voters’ questions on Sunday.
“Brian Kemp says he wants to be our next governor, but he’s breaking his promise to show up for the job interview,” Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a statement to The Moultrie Observer.
Misti Turnbull, the news director for Channel 2 Action News, the local station that was set to host the debate, told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that the station is still working to get the gubernatorial candidates to face each other in a debate before Election Day.
“Our No. 1 concern is giving Georgia voters what was promised, and that is a debate with all the candidates,” Turnbull told the outlet. “As in past major elections, we work to bring the candidates together in a debate forum so the viewers and their constituents can hear each candidate’s responses to pressing questions.”
Turnbull added: “We regret that we had to cancel, but once Secretary Kemp pulled out at the last minute, the candidates could not agree on a new time.”
— Updated 9:00 p.m.