Democratic US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock appealed to UGA students and other young voters at a rally in Athens on Friday, December 11, vowing to protect healthcare and fight loans students.
Student loan debt is now bigger as credit card and auto loan debt, and slows the economy by preventing college graduates from starting businesses, Warnock said in a brief speech to about 200 people in the parking lot of the 40 Watt Club.
“Our young people shouldn’t have to take out a mortgage before they even get a mortgage,” he said.
Warnock, the 11th of 12 children, said he was able to become the first person in his family to attend college – he earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College – not just because of the ethics of work instilled by his parents, but also federal aid such as the Pell Grant, low interest loans and work-study programs.
Warnock is also committed to continuing to cover pre-existing conditions and to ensure that people can stay under their parents’ insurance until the age of 26, two provisions of the Affordable Care Act 2010, that Republicans have long sought to repeal or repeal.
Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Melissa Link, who was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 48, introduced Warnock.
“If I hadn’t had decent health care, I’m not sure I would be here to talk to you today,” she said.
Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, faces Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in the Jan.5 runoff. Loeffler was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp earlier this year. They were the top two candidates on 21 November 3.
Prior to the rally, Warnock visited Town Hall and then entered local businesses in College Square and the Hot Corner.
The other Democratic candidate for the Georgian Senate, Jon Ossoff, also appeared in Athens this week with Julian Castro, President Obama’s housing and urban development secretary. They visited an affordable housing complex in eastern Athens with State Representative Spencer Frye (D-Athens), Executive Director of Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, on December 7 and held a rally outside The Grit. Ossoff will face Senator David Perdue on January 5.
Advance voting start monday. The outcome will determine the control of the Senate.
“Georgia is on everyone’s mind right now,” Warnock said.
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