James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 36



n January 14, 2019 Brian Kemp was
sworn into office as Georgia’s 83rd
governor. Sitting in a small temporary
office at the Capitol, he told James his
plan for his first term. He said it was simple:
“Do exactly what I told voters I would do while on the
campaign trail— put hard-working Georgians first.”
Fast forward to 2020 a little more than a year later,
with Governor Kemp sitting in the ceremonial office
with the same James reporter. “Remember I made a
promise that I was going to do what I promised on
the campaign trail. I feel like I have done that.”
As for my James assignment now, it also is
simple: Put into perspective both the
accomplishments and vision of this governor
who is our “Georgian of the Year.”
THE PRE-G0VERN0R YEARS
As we began our conversation about his
second year in office, the governor recalled
when he entered the political
arena over 15 years ago. As a
self-described hard-working
businessman raising a family
in Athens with now-First
Lady Marty Kemp, he was
involved in the local
business community
and organizations
like the Home Builders Association where he served on
the government affairs and regulatory affairs
committees. “Through my involvement in these
committees and many others, I realized there was too
much bureaucracy and red tape,” he said. “And I
became frustrated with the government.”
“There were a lot of things going on that were
ridiculous, so I decided to do something about it,” Kemp
continued. “Of course, the more I got involved with
the government, the more frustrated I
became. Sometimes the more you learn,
the more frustrated you become. Today,
we are still fighting bureaucracy and
red tape, trying to make government
more efficient.”
These concerns led him to run
and be elected from an Athensbased district as a Republican state
senator serving from 2003 to 2010. He
was elected Secretary of State in
2010, ran for governor
and was elected in
November 2018.
continued on page 38
37

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