A couple of weeks ago, Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp announced he will accept names from individuals interested in serving out the days of the U.S. Senate term that will be vacated by the retiring Johnny Isakson. However, more than 500 people have taken the Governor up on that idea. While this column will not focus upon all 500 contestants that are vying for Kemp’s affections, here are keys that Georgia Republicans will want to see from the aspirants.
U.S. Senator David Perdue said recently, whoever Governor Kemp chooses must “be on our side” and support President Donald Trump’s agenda, including his stances on immigration, trade and healthcare.
“The second thing is they have to help communicate the message because Republicans don’t have a great history of communicating a message,” he said.
“And the third thing is: Georgia is a growing state and the Republican Party needs to broaden with it. And that’s been my mantra since the very beginning.”
The stakes could not be higher for the GOP in Georgia. The person Kemp selects will be on a ticket with Perdue in 2020, a Presidential election year. The winner of that contest will also be on the ballot in 2022 with Kemp.
A person to watch in the Isakson sweepstakes is Chris Carr, the current Attorney General. Carr was appointed to the position on November 1, 2016 and was elected on November 6, 2018 to serve a full four-year term. Like Kemp, he’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and his current wife serves as Isakson’s Chief of Staff.
Meanwhile, Perdue’s potential opponent, Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico, secured an endorsement from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, an Atlanta-based union that represents more than 5,500 workers. The group has also contributed $5,000 to her campaign for Senate. Moreover, Amico also said she raised around $710,000 since she entered the race in late August. The methodology behind the fundraising was not disclosed.
This week, the Trump campaign super-PAC, America First Action claimed Georgia is a “tier-one” state that carries equal importance in the 2020 Election, due to the changing demographics and Atlanta’s surburbs as the key to turning the state in their favor. America First Action pledges Georgia Republicans will receive a targeted effort similar to Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“I think we’re going to win Ohio and I think we’re going to win Georgia, but we’re not going to take them for granted,” said Brian Walsh, president of America First Action. “And we’re going to pay attention to them all the way through.”
Democrats have won Georgia in a presidential election only once since 1980.
On Oct. 8, the Democratic National Committee announced MSNBC and The Washington Post will co-host the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate. While the venue has not been announced, the debate will take place Nov. 20.