ATLANTA -- Should a candidate for governor get locked up for owing taxes to the government?

Republican Brian Kemp says “it ought to be” illegal for Democrat Stacey Abrams to owe more than $50,000 to the IRS while helping her campaign financially.

Both candidates have debt claims against them. Abrams admits hers and says she is paying it back. Kemp is fighting a claim by a businessman that Kemp stiffed him on a loan.

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When she filed a disclosure form in March, Democrat Stacey Abrams disclosed a modest net worth of $108,885.84. Among her liabilities is “taxes due and unpaid” to the Internal Revenue Service valued at $54,052.

FULL COVERAGE | Georgia Votes 2018

In a statement, Republican Brian Kemp said “instead of paying more than $50,000 in back taxes, she gave $50,000 to her campaign. If that’s not criminal it should be.”

Asked about it Wednesday, Abrams said, "The IRS and I have an agreement. I’m on a payment plan."

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Abrams says she deferred paying taxes to fund a family need, and the IRS signed off on it. "I could not defer my family’s needs. I could defer paying my taxes and I am paying them. The IRS and I are in good standing," Abrams said.

Meantime, Brian Kemp lists his net worth as $5,234,101.14.

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Kemp is a defendant in a lawsuit over a half-million dollar loan he guaranteed in 2016 but never repaid. Kemp says the money is owed by a company in which he’s an investor called Hart AgStrong. Last month Kemp showed up at a law office to give a deposition in that case.

The lawsuit is ongoing.

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