Brian Kemp

Desired Office: Governor
Party Affiliation: Republican
Mayors' Day 2018 - Candidate for Governor Brian Kemp
Jan 22, 2018
Remarks from Secretary of State Brian Kemp at the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at Mayors' Day 2018.

GMA's Question(s) to the Candidates

  1. City officials are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining quality of life within their communities, while also ensuring there are ample resources to respond to future growth and development. In order to continue the legacy of strong cities driving the state’s economy, Georgia’s cities need to preserve the tools that built that legacy. As Governor, how would you work to ensure that cities are equipped with the necessary resources to continue being economic engines within the state?
  2. Home rule is the ability of cities to make local decisions about local issues and must be preserved and defended against those who would insist on “one size fits all” government. Cities have certain home rule powers vested in them under the Georgia Constitution. Legislative attempts to restrict municipal control are common at the General Assembly. Municipal governments are the elected body closest to the people. Cities must retain the ability to operate in ways that closely reflect the wishes of the community and ensure public safety for their residents. As Governor, how would you work to preserve the home rule powers of municipalities?
  3. Cities are challenged to provide greater services with fewer dollars every day. While cities bear the brunt of meeting these needs, state and federal partners should also provide support to keep Georgia moving forward. As Governor, how would you address the various funding needs of municipal governments across the state?
  4. Strong partnerships create a stronger Georgia. City leaders want to be partners with county, state, and federal governments. All levels of government should work together with a spirit of cooperation and recognize the strength each has in providing appropriate services. As Governor, how would you facilitate intergovernmental partnerships, and what role do you think municipal governments can and should play in Georgia’s growth?

Kemp's Response

I support GMA as it seeks the Tools to Build, Authority to Lead, Funding, and Partnerships to Succeed.

As Secretary of State and as a candidate for Governor, I have worked hard to build relationships with Mayors, City Council members and municipalities from all over the state. I welcome the opportunity to continue these conversations in the months and years ahead.

I have dealt fairly with counties as they have fulfilled their election responsibilities. As Governor, I will continue that record by working with all local governments to find solutions that work.

I believe in local control. Local leaders should determine their own needs and then find the means to pay for the services. Instead of passing down more unfunded mandates, state government should stay out of the way.

Government closest to the people governs best. As governor I will encourage local leaders to make decisions that are right for their constituents. I support Home Rule and believes that local control - not big government - is the key to realizing our full potential as a state. As governor, I will veto legislation that overwhelms localities with unfunded mandates, ridiculous regulations, or anti-business rules.

In regard to funding, I will first work to implement a spending cap that adjusts with inflation and population. This cap will force lawmakers to prioritize spending and say "no" to the special interests. It will also lead to real tax reform. To have meaningful reform, we must review all tax breaks, carve outs, and exemptions to determine the ROI. Do hardworking Georgians benefit or just the special interests? As Governor, my administration will not only ask that question but we will get an answer too. As part of comprehensive tax reform, we will have a complete review of all current taxes, including sales taxes to develop a plan best for hardworking Georgians.

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Kemp on the Record
with Ocilla Mayor Matt Seale