Republican candidates in Georgia’s crowded special election race have tangled over healthcare policy, tax changes and other divides. But on Sunday a new rift about climate change emerged after a contender running as a Donald Trump loyalist broke with most of the Republican field.
At a Dunwoody Homeowners Association forum featuring all 18 candidates in the April 18 contest, most of the leading GOP contenders said it should be up to state and local governments, not Congress, to decide how to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.
That is, until the final candidate on the packed podium spoke up. Bob Gray, a former Johns Creek councilman running as a “willing partner” to Trump, said fighting climate change was a “national issue” that deserves national attention.
”To think we can solve this problem on a local level isn’t realistic,” said Gray, adding that a solution requires a need to balance the need for economic growth with emerging technologies.
It was a split with most of the 11 Republicans racing to win what could be a sole spot in a June 20 runoff to represent the suburban Atlanta district.
It’s the most competitive contest since Trump’s victory, and it’s widely seen as an early test of his popularity. And Republican groups are pumping millions of dollars into the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb, to stave off an upset victory from Democrat Jon Ossoff.