’18 Georgia Governor GOP Primary Race: Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp, Hunter Hill

The Republican primary for the 2018 Gubernatorial race takes place on May 22nd. According to an AJC Poll released on 4/27/18, the top three candidates are:

  1. Casey Cagle (41%)
  2. Brian Kemp (10%)
  3. Hunter Hill (9%)

No other candidate was above 5%. To avoid a run-off, Cagle needs 50% of the vote.

While all three are strong candidates to continue the success of Nathan Deal, I dug a bit deeper to determine where my primary vote would go. Here’s where I landed.

Casey Cagle is the current Lt. Governor. He gained popularity by pushing back against Delta when they joined the anti-NRA movement following the tragic Florida school shooting.

His campaign ties him to the success of the Nathan Deal governorship, with tax cuts and a 5th straight year of being ranked the #1 state to do business as wind in his sails.

As for his goals, he has promised to bring 500,000 new jobs to Georgia in his first term, keep Georgia the #1 state to do business, and invest in infrastructure – specifically bringing broadband internet to rural communities.

He has said he wants to attract tech companies to Georgia and make it the Silicon Valley of the South. He’s also talked about massive population growth he expects Georgia to experience. I believe Cagle will offer targeted deals for major companies to attract Tech companies like Amazon to Georgia. I don’t generally like these sort of special deals for companies, as they are another example of the government choosing winners and losers. I also don’t want to see Georgia – Atlanta specifically – balloon in size. Casey Cagle is a solid candidate, but not my top choice for the GOP ticket.

Current Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, is neck-and-neck with Hunter Hill for the all important second place position. Should Cagle fail to get 50% of the vote, the second place candidate will enter a run-off against him.

Kemp is from Athens and is the “Trumpian” candidate in the election. Although both Hill and Cagle also promise to defund any Georgia cities that decide to become sanctuary cities, Kemp is emphasizing his toughness on immigration.

Kemp is a rural man. A hunter with a degree in agriculture from Georgia, one can certainly see the appeal he may have for those living outside of Atlanta, often forgotten by state politicians. He has made the same promise as Cagle to bring high-speed internet to rural communities. Kemp emphasized his support for the second amendment in this peculiar ad:

Hunter Hill, attended Army West Point where he played college football as a punt return man. Afterwards, he served in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Upon returning home, he became a businessman and represented the 6th district (Marietta/Vinings/Collier Hills) in the GA State Senate.

As governor, he promises to prioritize education, public safety, and transportation in the state budget. To do that, he says “We will cut wasteful spending. Ministries, non-profits, families, and communities change lives for the better – not the government.”

Cutting will be needed, as he seeks to eliminate the state income tax. With Tennessee to the northwest and Florida to the south having eliminated it altogether, Hill would like to see Georgia follow to be more competitive.

Those in Atlanta will also be pleased to hear his emphasis on transportation is not just a passing comment as he intends to double state funding for transportation, saying:  “I believe we can double our investment into transportation without raising taxes.”

He lays out these goals and differentiates himself from his prime competitors in this campaign ad:

He says he is uniquely qualified due to his diversity of leadership experience, in the Army, his small business, and as a state senator. It’s a compelling argument, one I’m inclined to believe. Hunter Hill is an exceptional choice for conservative Georgians, especially those who want to see transportation prioritized and taxes cut. Though there are several strong candidates (including Clay Tippins who isn’t mentioned here), I’ll be supporting Hunter Hill Georgia Governor. To learn more about him, check out this speech where he lays out his plans in more detail:

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