SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Incumbent Representative Buddy Carter and his Democratic challenger Joyce Griggs squared off in their first in-person debate. Carter and Griggs went head-to-head Tuesday at the Savannah Jaycees 2020 Candidate Forum.
Off the top the candidates debated the country’s COVID-19 response and how to fix the economy.
“I would say let’s give the people the stimulus money again because a lot of them are at home,” Griggs said.
While staying at home Griggs said she wants to explore options of opening technical schools for free so Georgia residents can gain new skills during this time. Carter is still referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China Virus’ but said the Republican party built the strongest economy before the pandemic hit.
“It’s important that we get past this virus. We continue to build our economy again, we’ve got to rebuild there’s no question about that,” Carter said.
Griggs remained passionate about keeping the Affordable Care Act in place. It’s something Republicans are trying to get rid of.
“Right now they want to cut it out that is absolutely ridiculous because so many people are still sick. And guess what else? A lot of the people that had COVID will have preexisting conditions,” Griggs said.
“We need to have more transparency, we need to have more competition within the health care system, we need to have more insurance coverage and more options,” Carter said.
Police reform was also a hot topic for both candidates. Griggs wants to see people impacted by the police system have a seat at the table to make a change. Carter said he voted for the First Step Act that’s been helping release incarcerated people from jail. He said at least 90 percent of people released have been people of color.
“This idea about defunding the police is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. We should thank the police for the job that they’ve done,” Carter said.
“I want to point out that I have not been for defunding the police. We need the police but I will say I am for demilitarizing the police,” Griggs said.
You can watch the full debate below.