For many Americans, the congressional midterms elections aren’t the only contest coming to town in November, as a number of hotly contested gubernatorial races will also be on the ballot.
In Georgia, that race will feature incumbent Republican Brian Kemp squaring off against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who had refused to concede her previous loss to Kemp.
And while the race is still somewhat tight, Kemp’s involvement in an investigation surrounding Donald Trump’s concerns with the 2020 presidential election seemed to be weighing heavy on the minds of voters. In a ruling this week, Kemp has lost his bid to avoid testifying in the case, but he won’t have to do so until after his gubernatorial election.
The judge overseeing the Atlanta-area grand jury investigation into Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election has rejected an effort by Gov. Brian Kemp to block a subpoena for his testimony.
However, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney also gave Kemp an election-year reprieve, agreeing to delay his testimony until after the Nov. 8 vote, when Kemp is up for reelection and facing a challenge from Stacey Abrams.
The judge appeared to be extremely aware of the political implications of the investigation.
“The Governor is in the midst of a re-election campaign and this criminal grand jury investigation should not be used by the District Attorney, the Governor’s opponent, or the Governor himself to influence the outcome of that election,” McBurney wrote in his six-page order.Advertisement - story continues below
Asked about the order on Kemp, District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters later Monday she was “pleased” with the investigation’s pace and indicated her investigators were “about 60% through” the intended witnesses. Willis also said she intended to send jurors home by the end of the calendar year.
“We will continue to fight to to make sure the grand jury and the public gets the truth, and I am very hopeful that by the end of this year, I’ll be able to send the grand jury on their way,” she said. The grand jury is authorized until May 2023, indicating Willis may wrap up her investigation early.
In a last-ditch effort to galvanize momentum, Abrams has shifted her platform to focus largely on abortion rights, after witnessing other Democratic candidates find success by exploiting the emotional issue at the polls.