Democrat Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is hammering incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp following reports that the cancellation of Music Midtown, an annual Atlanta music festival, was due to Georgia’s permissive gun laws.
In an exclusive statement provided to Fox News Digital, Abrams accused Kemp of putting his views on guns ahead of Georgia’s economy, and blasted him over the loss of jobs and investment that she said the state would have gotten from the thousands of people expected to attend the festival.
“Brian Kemp is putting a dangerous agenda on guns ahead of Georgia’s economy and growing jobs,” Abrams said in the statement. “Once again, Georgians’ best interests are taking a backseat to Kemp’s political ambitions — and our state is forced to pay the price at a rate of $50 million lost from our economy.”
“Georgians deserve leadership that will work hard to fight rising crime rates and implement common sense gun safety proposals while protecting our state’s economic growth,” she added. “Kemp may only think about the needs of his right-wing base, but as governor, I will work hard to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
Organizers of the planned September festival announced Monday that it would be canceled but did not provide a reason.
“Hey Midtown fans – due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year. We were looking forward to reuniting in September and hope we can all get back to enjoying the festival together again soon,” read a statement posted by the festival’s Twitter account.
A number of media outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported that the cancellation was due to fear of a potential lawsuit over the event banning firearms while on public grounds, something some have suggested might not be allowed under current Georgia law.
Legislation signed into law by then-Republican Gov. Nathan Deal in 2014 allowed the carry of firearms on public land, including Piedmont Park, the location of the festival, raising the question over whether the event was permitted to restrict attendees from carrying a firearm.
The Kemp campaign did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment, however, a close ally to the governor pointed to growing suggestions that the festival was canceled due to low ticket sales rather than a reason pertaining to the state’s gun laws.