Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp signed the paperwork and has officially qualified to appear on the ballot and run for re-election. First, he has a Republican primary battle against former U.S. Senator David Perdue. Kemp, 58, heads into the race confident after a recent FOX News poll has him ahead of Perdue by eleven points. Kemp did not mention Perdue by name during his speech. However, the Governor believes he’s got what it takes to defeat Stacey Abrams for a second time. 

“I’m focused on Stacey Abrams,” Kemp said. “We’ve been waiting for this day for three years. You know what we’re gonna have to overcome to win the nomination. We’re not taken for granted but our sights are focused on who the real opponent is going to be. We know the Democrats are going to line up behind her stating their case. Well, I’m the best candidate to beat her in November and conservatives across the state realize that.”

Stacey Abrams is the only Democrat that is running for Governor. 

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp delivers a speech after filing the paperwork to run for re-election inside the State Capitol on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

As the red and black signs waved behind him, Governor Kemp highlighted his victories while in office. In a show of strength, Kemp touted the $5,000 increase in teacher pay, a pay increase for state employees, fight street gangs, and reduce human trafficking while being the first state to re-open its economy in the face of the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

“We promised that we would raise teacher pay, invest in our schools, crack down on gangs, keep our state No. 1 for business and prioritize economic development in rural parts of our state, that we would fight for our values and ignore those who wanted to play politics,” Kemp said. “I’m proud to say that by working together, we have done exactly that.”

In 2018, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp defeated Casey Cagle in a Republican primary which saw former President Donald J. Trump endorsed Kemp. During the general election, there were allegations of fraud and overreach by Kemp’s office.

The former Secretary of State wanted to investigate the Democratic Party of Georgia for attempting to hack into the state’s voting systems. Those allegations were without merit. At that time, the registrations of 50,000 Georgia voters were in a “pending’’ status because their registration forms did not exactly match the personal information inside government databases. 

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp signs the paperwork to run for re-election inside the State Capitol on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Kemp went on to declare victory over Stacey Abrams in November 2018, after he led by 50,000 votes. It was the margin of victory that equaled the number of voter registrations that were held in limbo.

Almost four years later, Kemp is moving full speed ahead, even though he lost Trump’s support as his friend, David Perdue, is now running against him.

“I’ve said this about 500,000 times over the last two years. I can’t control what other people are doing in politics, whether it’s my opponent, whether it’s people that are endorsing him. I’m focused on doing what Georgians want,” Kemp said.

Kemp’s strong support lies within Georgia’s business community, especially in the state’s agriculture industry as he championed rural farms. Recently, the total value of field crops produced in Georgia rose more than 20% in 2021, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The state’s farmers produced $2.61 billion in crops last year, not counting the value of poultry, livestock or trees, driven by record yields per acre in cotton, corn and soybeans. That’s up from $2.17 billion in crops in 2020.

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp delivers a speech after filing the paperwork to run for re-election inside the State Capitol on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

One area to watch is whether or not David Perdue will appear in a televised debate. Governor Kemp has agreed to participate in four debates leading up to the May 24th primary election.

“Governor Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting – and winning – for hardworking Georgians and looks forward to sharing that record and his vision for the next four years with voters in these statewide, televised debates,” Governor Kemp’s Director of Communications and Senior Advisor Cody Hall said in a statement. 

The deadline to register to vote for the May 24th primaries is April 25th. Currently, interested persons can register to receive and vote via absentee ballot.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...