BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp stopped in Fannin County Feb. 20 to introduce himself and to address citizen concerns.
Part of his Putting Georgians First Bus Stop tour, Kemp plans on visiting more than 50 counties in nine days to introduce his conservative 4 Point Plan and to let voters know of his platform as he makes his way in the Georgia governor’s race.
The governor’s seat in the state of Georgia is currently held by Nathan Deal. Deal was first elected in 2010 and has served two consecutive four-year terms. According to Georgia state law, this seat is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.
Governor Deal has met the term limit criteria and will be ineligible to seek a third term in 2018.
Kemp who has held the position of Georgia Secretary of State since January 2010 spoke of what he feels sets him apart from others in the race: “I’ve learned a lot over the years, but I’m still the same guy when I first ran for legislature.”
Owning a small construction business in Athens, Georgia, Kemp first ran for a local office. “I really just became very frustrated with government, and I decided to do something about it,” Kemp said.
Wanting to bring a common sense, small business owner mentality to state government, Kemp pursued furthering his influence and stated that his main focus in government is “figuring out ways to do more with less.”
Kemp laid out his 4 Point Plan for residents of Fannin County with the first step being to make Georgia number one for small businesses.
Citing that Governor Deal has made great steps in achieving this, Kemp would like to continue to build on what Deal has accomplished.
“We need to continue to provide an environment and make it better,” Kemp stated about ways to attract and sustain small business growth. Kemp would like to see regulatory reform in this area, giving entrepreneurs more opportunity to expand and development in Georgia.
Kemp’s second step would involve spending reform. Georgia’s 2015 operating budget was set at $20.8 billion and the 2019 budget is proposed to be $26 billion, showing an increase of $5.2 billion in just five years.
Kemp would like to implement a spending cap, so that items will be more heavily scrutinized when considered for the budget. “When you’re in the good times, that’s when you need the spending cap,” Kemp explained.
Kemp said that if elected governor, he would question all spending: “How much is it going to cost? Who’s going to pay for it? And what are the long-term ramifications?”.
Ultimately, Kemp would like to start seeing a decrease in tax percentages for everyone in the state of Georgia but is also not opposed to a short-term solution of tax rebate for residents.
Step three is to move all of the state of Georgia forward focusing on both urban and rural areas. Strengthening rural Georgia would not only focus on economic development but also goods and services provided in these counties.
Kemp cited the need for quality healthcare providers and quality education. He would like to focus on agriculture as well and move toward finding more resources and creating a higher demand for Georgia’s exports.
Finally, Kemp would like to put Georgians first. He would like to see Georgia’s resources spent and utilized on Georgia residents. Putting a stop to sanctuary cities, cracking down on gang and drug-related crime, and deporting criminal illegal immigrants are few areas where Kemp feels our state could step up and save in resources that could otherwise be used for residents of Georgia.
Kemp took questions from the audience, and one such question that garnered everyone’s attention was a question relating to gun control and in particular the safety in our schools.
Kemp, a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, acknowledged that the current state of our country in regards to the mass shootings that take place every year is one that he never would have imagined growing up. He added that it saddens him to even think about.
When asked specifically about armed personnel in our schools, Kemp replied, “I support the abilities of local school boards and local schools to take care of their children.”
He stated that on a local level, if a school system felt the need for armed guards or further security measures, he would fully support their decision.
Kemp left the audience with a commitment he promised to uphold and one that he says has not changed during his terms as an elected official: “I was going to tell the people what I was going to do, and when I got in office, I was actually going to do that.”
Kemp assures everyone that if elected governor in the state of Georgia, that he will “deliver on those promises.”
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