Middle-class voters at center of HOPE debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Middle-class voters at center of HOPE debate

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KATHLEEN FOODY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - The leading candidates for Georgia governor hope one issue can draw support from middle-class voters in the state - the HOPE scholarship.

The program once covered all college expenses for high-performing students. But the state lottery struggled in recent years and couldn't meet demand, and Gov. Nathan Deal led an effort in 2011 to lower the scholarship amounts.

Democrat Jason Carter says Deal hurt students, while Deal says Carter's only suggestion was to cap family income for recipients and hurt the middle class.

Carter now says a cap isn't the best solution but financial need should be considered.

Deal's campaign released two ads this week focused on HOPE, while Carter released a new ad questioning the governor's personal financial turnaround since taking office compared to middle-class Georgians.

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