Abrams’ claim of sheriffs who ‘want to take Black people off the streets’ draws rebuke

Gov. Brian Kemp claims 107 sheriffs support him, but Georgia Sheriffs Association doesn’t endorse candidates
Stacey Abrams, Gov. Brian Kemp meet in second, final debate Sunday night
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 3:39 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association struck back at Democrat Stacey Abrams’ comment during Sunday night’s gubernatorial debate condemning more than 100 sheriffs who, she said, support Gov. Brian Kemp.

Kemp and Abrams were discussing the issue of crime. Abrams was responding to Kemp’s comment he has the the endosement of 107 sheriffs.

“I’m not a member of the good ole boys club,” Abrams said. “So, no, I don’t have 107 sheriffs who want to be able to take Black people off the streets, who want to be able to go without accountability.”

“Stacey Abrams’ comments about Georgia sheriffs in Sunday night’s debate are exactly the type of false, demoralizing, and offensive accusations that have driven good men and women away from the law enforcement profession,” said Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie, president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association, an organization that said it does not make political endorsements.

“The sheriffs, sheriff deputies, police officers, and other members of our community are brave individuals who wake up every day to put their lives on the line for everyone in their community, no matter their race, background, or walk of life. To suggest otherwise is insulting and outrageous.”

McDuffie, who is sheriff of Effingham County in southeast Georgia, called on Abrams to apologize.

Kemp. according to his campaign, does not have the endorsement of the association, but said more than 100 sheriffs have endorsed the Republican governor in his re-election campaign.

Kemp and Abrams squared off in their second and final one-hour debate on Sunday evening hosted by WSB-TV.

Full coverage of Georgia’s 2022 midterms

Kemp has led consistently in the polls, the most recent coming Monday from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that shows him with a 51% to 44% margin.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie are campaigning for Kemp this week.

Abrams is fresh off a campaign appearance with former president Barack Obama. She is spending her campaign’s final week in a bus tour across the state.