Brian Kemp

On Sept. 6, Brian Kemp, Georgia secretary of state and candidate for governor, spoke to students at the second College Republicans’ meeting of the semester.

“I know people who have heard me talk in years past might be tired of me saying this, but I never would have gotten started and been successful in politics without the College Republicans,” Kemp said.

Kemp is an Athens native who graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. From 2002 to 2006, Kemp served as a state senator. He later succeeded Republican Karen Handel and has served as Georgia secretary of state since 2010.

Kemp began the meeting by thanking the Republican student organization for their involvement in his previous campaigns.

Kemp announced his candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial elections last March and focused his lecture on his conservative Four Point Plan.

According to the Kemp for Governor website, the Four Point Plan includes making Georgia the leading state in successful small businesses, reforming state government, strengthening rural Georgia and “putting Georgia first.”

The first point of the plan, expanding small businesses in Georgia, will include protecting “Mom and Pop” businesses from regulation, mandates and healthcare reform that could potentially harm small businesses.

Kemp said he also plans on collaborating directly with business owners instead of politicians.

“The great state we live in has a lot of great assets and a lot to build off of,” Kemp said. “We all want to focus on making Georgia No. 1 in doing business with.”

Kemp has been a small business owner for over 30 years and owns companies in agribusiness, financial services, real estate management and investment.

His second point is to reform state government.

Key goals under this platform are to “implement state spending cap that adjusts with population and inflation, determine [return-on-investment] (ROI) on state programs and tax incentives, and lastly, to eliminate wasteful programs, tax incentives, and bureaucracy,” according to the campaign website.

Kemp focused on the underdevelopment and lack of opportunities in the rural areas of the state during his lecture.

“The opportunities are not in the [rural areas] like they used to: the access to high speed internet, healthcare, greater educational opportunities... and that’s really concerning for me,” Kemp said.

Kemp said he made it his mission to travel to all 159 counties and to see first hand what each county needs.

“We need to lift everyone up and give everyone good opportunities. It’s not healthy for us to just be population centered in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus. We need to keep vibrant different areas to keep [the state] vibrant,” Kemp said.

Kemp’s last point on his political platform is to “put Georgia first.”

“I’m going to focus as well on moving the whole state forward, continuing to build off of the great things we already have going on like the ports in Savannah, a huge airport in Atlanta, great technology in places like Columbus, ThinTech, and Atlanta with healthcare IT, cybersecurity...we’ll continue to move those things forward,” Kemp said.

Kemp’s campaign website outlined this aspect of his plan by “defunding sanctuary cities and campuses, stop taxpayer funded subsidies for illegal immigrants, protect our Georgia values, and put the needs of hardworking Georgians ahead of special interests.”

The Georgia governor elections will be held on Nov. 6, 2018.