James.qxp Jan Feb 2019 web - Page 21

n January 14, Brian Kemp will have
been sworn in as Georgia’s 83rd
governor. As he takes over as the
Peach State’s top leader, Kemp’s
priorities are the same as those that
carried him through a crowded field
in the Republican primary, a convincing win in the
Republican runoff and a victory over Democrat opponent
Stacey Abrams in the November general election.
“I’m going to do exactly what I told people I’m going
to do,” Kemp told this writer while we sat in a temporary
Capitol office as he was working with his transition team.
“I vowed to put hardworking Georgians first, and that’s
going to guide everything I do over the next four years.
My priorities haven’t changed just because I won.”
“I want to be a governor who will be working and
fighting every day for the whole state, all the people in
Georgia, and that includes the people who didn’t vote for
me,” Kemp continues. “At the end of four years, when
we’re going through this process again, I’m going to have
a record that I believe will give people a reason to vote for
me— even if they didn’t vote for me the first time.”
The former secretary of state built his campaign and
his entire platform on the singular promise of “Putting
Georgians First.” As Kemp says, “I keep my campaign
promises. I did what I said I would do when I was elected
to the General Assembly. I did what I said I was going to
do when I ran for secretary of state. And I will keep my
promises to the people of Georgia as their next governor.”
Kemp looks forward to working with legislators to
implement his Four Point plan, one he introduced during
his campaign more than 21 months ago. It involves
putting Georgians first, a spending cap, strengthening
rural Georgia and continuing to make the state a number
one place for small business.
“We are going to partner with the legislature to
streamline government, cap spending, and lower taxes
for Georgia workers.” He says his administration will
continue to budget conservatively and fund his
priorities, but it will also prepare for a future “tough
day” that may be coming. continued on 22


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