Charlie Bailey debates empty podium in Lt. Governor’s Democratic Primary Runoff

Photo Credit: Brynn Anderson/AP (pool)

Key Points
  • Democratic primary voters will choose between Charlie Bailey and Kwanza Hall on June 21 for the runoff election.
  • Kwanza Hall did not attend the debate.
  • The winner of the runoff will face Republican Burt Jones in the November 8 general election.

The Gist

Kwanza Hall did not show up to a planned Atlanta Press Club debate with Lt. Governor opponent Charlie Bailey.

What’s Happening

Bailey, who boasts the endorsement of party leader Stacey Abrams slammed his opponent as “not deserving” of the nomination and pitched himself to Georgia voters as the best candidate to face Republican Burt Jones in November. 

Hall, who received 30.1% of the vote in the primary compared to Bailey’s 17.6%, did not respond to an invitation to participate in the debate, according to organizers. His campaign has not commented publicly on his no-show. 

Bailey said Hall was “not deserving” of the nomination given his absence from the debate. 

“His not being here is a pattern of a lack of respect for voters, it’s the pattern of an unserious person,” Bailey said, adding, “if you cannot stand up to the voters, answer the questions of a free press you are not prepared to be Lt. Governor.”

Bailey, who grew up on a cattle farm, pitched himself as most suited for the position of Lt. Governor, which in addition to being the number two role to the Governor’s office, presides over the state senate. 

Click the image above to see Charlie Bailey speaking to the press after the debate (State Affairs).

During the one-man “debate,” Bailey said Republicans “give a lot of lip service” to rural Georgia and called out the lack of rural broadband access, lack of tuition-free technical schools, and rural hospitals as policy priorities for him. 

Bailey also touted his bonafides as a prosecutor, he was a Senior District Attorney for Fulton County, as qualifications for the office.  

“We need someone who cares about justice and has a career getting justice,” he said. 

Bailey also took shots at his would-be Republican opponent Burt Jones, the only Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for state office to win in the primaries last month. “I think Burt Jones and Donald Trump are out of step with the voters of Georgia,” he said, slamming Jones as “authoritarian” and noting that Jones’ politics “are the politics of hate and division.” 

What’s Next

The runoff election is June 21. Early voting begins June 13. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is June 10.  

Graphic by Brittney Phan for State Affairs.

Join the Conversation

Watch the debate on YouTube

Charlie Bailey is on Twitter: @Charlie4georgia and on Facebook.

Kwanza Hall is on Twitter: @KwanzaHall and on Facebook.

What do you want to know about the Lt. Governor’s runoff? Email [email protected] or on Twitter: @Alemzs