Before, during and after the Nov. 8 midterm election in Georgia, Capital B Atlanta will be speaking with Black voters to hear your thoughts and share your stories. From the campaign trail to local events, “What Black Voters Are Saying” wants to document the issues most important to you. Want to share your story? Hit up politics reporter Chauncey Alcorn at email@example.com.
It’s finally happening.
The long-awaited midterm election debate between Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker is set to take place Friday night.
The scheduled one-hour event will be broadcast at 7 p.m. in front of a live audience at the JW Marriott Savannah hotel in Savannah. Local news station WSAV in Savannah organized the political showdown, which is set to air locally on Fox 5 Atlanta and on other Nexstar-owned stations. It will be simulcast on radio on the Georgia News Network and WSB-AM.
The matchup will be the first general election U.S. Senate debate between two major party Black candidates in Georgia history, and just the second in American history. However, it’s Walker’s alleged abortion scandal that continues to dominate recent headlines. So far, the former Heisman Trophy winner hasn’t canceled his scheduled Savannah appearance after previously declining for months to commit to a debate.
Most recent polls have the race virtually tied, with Warnock maintaining a slight lead over his Republican opponent that is within the margin of error. The tight contest could decide the balance of power in Congress.
Capital B Atlanta visited Woodruff Park in Downtown to ask residents and students what they’d like debate panelists to ask Warnock and Walker.
Here’s what they had to say.
Ty Jenkins, 22, student, Downtown
“To Herschel Walker, I would ask him why is he against abortions if he made someone get one before? Why are you against abortions if you out here getting them? That’s what I want to know.”
Lucy Jones, 19, student, Midtown
“Me personally, I would want to know more about gentrification because I feel like that’s a really big issue in Atlanta, and I want to see what they would do about that first and foremost. We can have several debates about abortion and what is and isn’t allowed, but there’s real people affected everyday by gentrification.”
Titi May, 22, student, Pittsburgh
“I want to know what they’re going to do about this whole abortion thing … since [the 2019 abortion restriction law] gives you six weeks to get an abortion. What are [Warnock and Walker] planning on doing? Are they going to overturn it, extend that, or what are their thoughts on that?”
Chavis Rouse, 22, student
“I’d probably ask [Walker] what if a girl or one of his family members had been a victim of a rape or some tragedy like that? Would he be OK with keeping that child, or would he be OK with her having to hold that against him for the rest of her life?”
Tyrone Lewis, 26, student, Bankhead
“I want both candidates to do something about the mass homelessness in this city because it’s really ridiculous. I see so many abandoned buildings, so many unoccupied buildings, but I also see so many more homeless people. But it’s way more homeless people than there are abandoned, unoccupied buildings. I feel like if one of those people, Herschel Walker or Warnock, could facilitate some homes for all these people who are actually in need and actually get them in programs to better themselves, that would be the person that I would vote for.”
Salem Grant, 18, student
“I want to hear how they’re going to improve the city of Atlanta, like public transportation mostly, because the MARTA can only go so far. I’d like it to be expanded to reach further … maybe decrease prices or something.”
Kennedy Cook, 58, Atlanta
[How are they] going to make [living conditions] better for the public, so that we can get what we need, if possible? I know nothing’s going to be perfect, but [we’ve got to] get what we need to survive, just the basics really. … We, as the public and people, we need to have it better. Make it better for us.”
Dika Obiegbu, 18, student, Cobb County
“Because I’m a nutrition major, I really care about the nutrition aspect. [In] the African American community, there’s not a lot of people [who] know how to eat healthy. … So I might ask about better accessibility to healthy food for low-income families.”