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Abrams says Georgia is the ‘worst state’ to live in, citing health care and incarceration rates

NORCROSS, Ga. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is defending remarks she made over the weekend that Georgia is the “worst state in the country to live in,” referring to its poor rate rankings maternal mortality and incarceration, among other problems.

Abrams, who is expected to formally receive his party’s gubernatorial nomination in the Georgia primary on Tuesday, was speaking at a fundraising dinner for Gwinnett County Democrats outside Atlanta when She pushed back against Republican Gov. Brain Kemp’s frequent boasting that Georgia was ranked the best state in the nation for business.

“I’m sick of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we’re the worst state in the country to live in,” Abrams said Saturday in remarks that drew long applause.

“Now someone is going to try to politicize me about this – let me contextualize,” Abrams continued. “When you’re #48 in mental health, when you’re #1 in maternal mortality, when you have a rising incarceration rate and falling wages, then you’re not #1. live in the United States. But we can do it. You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor’s office.

In a Tweeter and the Instagram post, Abrams further clarified those stats. Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country and is one of many states with a minimum wage equal to the federal rate, but fares better in other categories like education and crime.

His comment drew criticism from the right, with former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller double it “a contender for the worst campaign slogan ever” and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade calling it “very strange”.

Kemp responded on Twitter saying he thinks Georgia is the “best state to live, work and raise a family” and that he “will work hard every day through November to keep it that way.”

The governor’s campaign also said he would likely respond to Abrams’ remarks on stage Monday night at a rally with former Vice President Mike Pence.

Kemp faces a primary challenge on Tuesday from former Sen. David Perdue, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, but Perdue’s campaign has struggled to gain traction and polls show the incumbent is far ahead.

Kemp narrowly beat Abrams in 2018, and their likely November rematch is expected to be one of the highest-profile gubernatorial races in the nation, testing just how blue, historically red Georgia has become.

Alexander Blayne contributed.

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