Georgia Governor Election Candidates


Lulu Vitulo

Graphic designed by Lulu Vitulo on Canva

Lulu Vitulo, Managing Editor

As current Governor Brian Kemp’s term nears its end, Georgia’s gubernatorial election is up ahead. The election will be on Nov. 8, with Democratic, Republican and third-party (Independent) candidates running.
The only established, and favored, Democratic candidate for Governor is Stacey Abrams. “Abrams can count on a unified Democratic Party behind her candidacy. No other credible Democratic contender has entered the race, and her fundraising record and visibility allowed her to wait until December to announce,“ the Atlanta Journal Constitution said.
Abrams is a prominent figure in the Democratic Party. “Abrams’ announcement is a boon for Democrats,” CNN said. “Abrams ran for governor in 2018, losing to Kemp by 1.4 points, but her campaign vaulted her into the upper echelons of the Democratic Party and made her a fundraising force who will be able to throw millions at a run.”
Her race against Kemp in 2018 came very close. The New York Times said Stacey Abrams lost by only 55,000 votes. In an election over all of Georgia, with a population of almost 11 million, 55,000 is a small margin to lose by.
Abrams’ stance covers more popular policies, such as expanding Medicare, but also some farther left. She does not go by any political label, and is liked by all sides of the left and center.
Abrams has been working on voting rights, accessibility and protection. She founded an organization for these causes called Fair Fight. This was part of the reason she garnered so many votes in the 2018 election. Her work increased cross-racial voter turnout in Georgia, which activist groups took note of.
Republicans, initially divided by comments from former President Donald Trump, have united in face of their common opponent. After an image of Stacey Abrams not wearing a mask around children surfaced, the Republican Party had a notable moment of unity, despite the division caused by former President Donald Trump, regarding the election and the encouragement of Perdue to challenge an incumbent from his own party.
The main leading candidates from the Republican party are incumbent governor Brian Kemp, and David Perdue. “Perdue’s entry comes after weeks of speculation that the Republican, who lost his bid for reelection to the Senate in a runoff earlier this year to Democrat Jon Ossoff, was considering challenging Kemp,” CNN said.
Perdue’s platform is representative of most conservative ideals. In his announcement on joining the race for governor, Perdue said, “My bold vision for our state is very simple. Completely eliminate the state income tax. It’s time. Make our cities and states safe again. Take charge of our schools. Put parents in charge, not the woke left.”
Perdue is being backed by Trump, which could garner him more votes or attention. According to US News, “Trump is backing Perdue, a former Senator who lost his reelection bid last year, because Kemp refused entreaties to thwart Biden’s Georgia victory, which was affirmed by three recounts.”
The former President will be a challenging obstacle for Kemp to face. “Since the 2020 election, county and district Republican Party organizations have experienced internal clashes between traditional, establishment types and vocal pro-Trumpers,” USA Today said.
Kemp is focusing on his past ‘successes’ for his reelection. He said, “You have to remember I’m the person that opened our economy back up after never closing most of it. I’m the person that wanted to keep our schools open and wanted to keep our kids in the classroom.”
Kandiss Taylor is another Republican in the race, but doesn’t seem to be a front-runner for the party. There is also an independent running, Elbert Bartell. More information on those candidates is in the graphic below.