“I am uniquely positioned to understand the challenges you face when it comes to running your business and, most importantly, having to deal with government red tape,” he said in recent remarks to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “There are too few business-minded people in office, and you can see how that impacts our government.”
A former state senator, the Athens Republican was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue as the state’s top elections official in 2010 after Karen Handel resigned to run for governor and won his first of two four-year terms later that year.
He could be hobbled by a pair of embarrassing elections-related disclosures that took place on his watch. In 2015, his office accidentally sent confidential voter data to political parties and media outlets. Kemp’s office issued a report putting the blame on a staffer fired shortly after the breach.
Several other Republican candidates are openly considering a run, including former Reps. Jack Kingston and Lynn Westmoreland, House Speaker David Ralston and state Sen. Michael Williams. A wealthy businessman running as an outsider is also likely to jump in.
The Democratic side is just as uncertain, though Democrats hope Trump’s election can help them retake the seat for the first time since 2002. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is seen as a virtual lock to join the race. And former state Sen. Jason Carter and one-time acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates are considered potential contenders as well.