ATLANTA (AP) - The candidates in a neck-and-neck battle for Georgia governor are set to meet in their first debate Tuesday evening in Atlanta.

Republican Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, faces Democratic former state House minority leader Stacey Abrams. Libertarian candidate Ted Metz also is participating.

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Abrams is vying to be the first black female governor of any state. Kemp is trying to maintain the governor's mansion for Republicans.

The race is being watched nationally as a barometer for the Democrats' success in the Nov. 6 elections.

Kemp has portrayed Abrams as "too extreme for Georgia" and rails against funding she gets "California and New York."

Abrams has painted Kemp as an incompetent chief elections officer who has been intent on suppressing minority voters.

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