Stacey Abrams on jobs and wanting to be Georgia’s next governor

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Democrat Stacey Abrams says she’s prepared to be the next governor of Georgia.

She has an ambitious jobs program which she says is the right idea at the right time for the state’s future.

“I know Georgia can do this and I am the right person to do it,” she said.

Abrams visited the Ironworkers Local 709 to talk to them about apprenticeships.

Her jobs program would include increasing the number of registered apprenticeships in Georgia from the current 8,000 to 22,000 by the year 2022. 

“Employees need better access to training like the training we see here today,” Abrams said.  “We need good wages in every job and in every community. You shouldn’t have to leave home to make a good life for you and your family. 

She says her 11 years in the Georgia legislature has prepared her to lead the state and to help workers as well as small businesses. 

“I know how to lift up the economy of Georgia without putting anyone down,” said Abrams who is the first woman and first African American to be selected as a gubernatorial candidate by a major party.   

Although several reporters did, she didn’t mention her Republican opponent Brian Kemp by name. Though Abrams did make comments that may have been directed at her opponent. 

“We also have to have an open and inclusive state and that is why I will always defend the pro-business reputation that we have in Georgia for openness and inclusion,” she said, adding, “I will fight any legislation or any initiative that would take us backward or that would discriminate against Georgians.”

Kemp has already said he may be willing to sign a religious freedom bill, something that some fear will give the state a bad reputation in terms of getting businesses to locate here.

This week an attack ad against Abrams was launched, but she said she’s focused on campaigning.

“My mission is to win this election by talking to everybody and it doesn’t really matter who else is doing this because I’m running for Georgia,” said Abrams. “I know that Georgia only grows when all of Georgia grows and not just Savannah but other counties. I’m not running for governor of Atlanta, I’m running for governor of all of Georgia.”  

Abrams did answer a question about tariffs which have been put in place by President Donald Trump who has already endorsed her opponent.

“I think that unfortunately, we have seen choices made at the national level that puts our economy in jeopardy here in Georgia,” said Abrams.

She also answered a question about immigration making it clear she thinks differently than her opponent.

Here is her full answer:

“I’m running to be the governor of Georgia and I believe that we have to have comprehensive, bi-partisan legislation to address the federal responsibility for immigration. As the governor of Georgia my responsibility (would be ) to make sure that everyone who is within our borders is protected and served by our state, that’s our constitutional obligation and it’s our moral obligation.

And to that end, I do not intend to support programs that use our law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.  That is not our responsibility and it is a cost to our communities. We also make everyone less safe when Georgia’s law enforcement participates in federal immigration because people will go into the shadows, they won’t report crimes and they won’t testify about crimes they’ve seen.

They will let themselves be harmed and they will become more vulnerable which makes our state more vulnerable. So, my intent is to make sure I focus on Georgia’s responsibilities to protect and serve everyone within our borders every single day.”

Despite the odds of a Democrat winning in a “red” state, Abrams expressed confidence saying “I will win in November.” 

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