WATCH: Cagle, Kemp debate ahead of runoff election

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GOP Gubernatorial Debate: Part 1

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp took the stage at Columbus State University Thursday evening ahead of the primary runoff election.

On July 24, Cagle and Kemp will go head to head for the Republican Gubernatorial seat. 

The winner of the runoff election will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.

Candidates faced questions from professors and reporters regarding a variety of issues, from immigration to Georgia’s film industry.

Read final statements from Thursday evening’s debate below.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle:

“Well, thank you very much. It is an honor to be back in Columbus and I appreciate Columbus State University for hosting us tonight.

The choice is clear – if you want an individual who is just like President Trump and also like Governor Deal – that says what he means and gets things done – then I’m your candidate.

I’m a person who has helped to lead in cutting taxes with a commitment to cut it even further, but also historic job growths within our state.

But also making certain that we are committed to building a world-class workforce that is second to none.

I will tell you that being a person, that like my opponent, that sadly enough, does not have a record by which he can run on that is going to be successful in November is a major issue.

You can’t give over 6 million individuals personal, confidential, throughout his tenure as a Secretary of State and expect to win in the primary.

You can’t do this to the farmers and you have to if good on your word in paying your bills.

I’m a candidate who does what I say I’ll do. And I’ll be committed to building this economy and making sure that we continue to do great things for the citizens of Georgia.”

Sec. State Brian Kemp:

“Well, I know you continue to see all the nonsense from Casey Cagle.

And because of all of his special interest money he’s been falsely attacking me on the TV about all these issues that quite honestly are absolutely false. And he should stop.

He knows better than that. It’s wrong and certainly, our state deserves better.

But let me tell you this, I am a husband, I’m a father to three teenage daughters. My wife and I have lived in Athens, Georgia our whole life.

I’m a small business owner. I’ve been in the private sector for over 30 years.

I ran for the State Senate the first time because I was frustrated with the government.

I went home, went back to the private sector, helped Marty with the girls, came back as Secretary of State and we have a record you can trust of doing the right thing when no one is watching.

My opponent has shown on these tapes that he will put politics ahead of policy.

We need a Governor that will put Georgians first ahead of the special interest, the status quo, the politically correct and those that are here illegally.

And that is why we have serged in this campaign.

It’s why, quite honestly, he continues to attack my record, which he knows is good.

So I hope you will search for the truth as you decide who you’re going to vote for in this runoff. And I’d be honored to have your vote and support.”

For more information on the candidates, visit their websites at &

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