The Governor is the chief executive of the state who oversees the executive branch
Current Governor: Brian Kemp
- The Governor is similar to the President of the United States: they oversee the executive branch, sign bills into law and then enforce these laws, and act as the commander-in-chief of the state military.
- The Governor has a large influence over which new laws get passed because they can veto any legislation. Georgia lawmakers can only override a veto with a two-thirds majority in the State House and State Senate.
- The Governor appoints heads of various judicial and state offices including the: Department of Education, Department of Human Resources, Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Department of Community Health, Department of Economic Development, and the Department of Natural Resources. In case a state representative is not able to complete their term, the Governor can appoint a replacement until the end of the term.
- The Governor is elected every 4 years in midterm election years (e.g., 2022, 2026, 2030). If a governor serves for eight years (two terms in a row), they must wait another four years before running again.
2022 Candidates for Governor
Where do the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you?
|The Issues that Matter||Brian Kemp|
|Shane Hazel |
|Stacey Abrams |
|Education||Supports a Parental Bill of Rights to increase transparency in schools.|
Opposes “divisive ideologies” in the classroom such as Critical Race Theory.
As Governor, gave the largest teacher pay raise in Georgia’s history of $5,000.
Supports access to mental health resources in schools.
As Governor, he passed the “Unmask Georgia Act” (SB 514), which prohibits schools from making rules that require a student to wear a face mask while present on school property.
|Wants to get rid of public education and believes that public schools are “government indoctrination camps.”||Supports universal pre-k and childcare. Her proposed program would pay all childcare costs that exceed 10% of a family’s income. She said, “… the average annual cost of infant care in Georgia is $7,644, an amount that leaves many parents feeling as if affordable child care is out of reach.”|
Wants to update Georgia’s education funding formula to increase public education funding.
Wants to focus on the recruitment and retainment of teachers through permanent teacher pay increases and partnerships with Georgia colleges.
Opposes private school voucher programs.
Said, “[I will] reject attempts to teach children misinformation in the public school system. Some topics like slavery, segregation or the Trail of Tears are difficult, but our children must be given age-appropriate lessons and context.”
Supports tuition-free technical colleges, investing in HBCUs and HSIs, restoring academic tenure, and funding need-based scholarships.
|Economy||Said, “unemployment rates are at all-time lows, job creation and investment numbers are through the roof, and businesses of all sizes are thriving”.|
As Governor, he signed HB1302, which is returning $1 billion in surplus tax revenue back to Georgia taxpayers in 2022.
Supports attracting investments to rural Georgia to grow the economy. As Governor, he finalized an agreement with a major electrical vehicle company, Rivian, to build a manufacturing plant in the state.
|Wants to get rid of all property and income taxes and said “taxation is Theft.”|
Plans to get rid of “as many regulations as I can,” such as labor laws.
|Supports stronger protections for workers, including paid sick leave, expanding unemployment insurance, and preventing employment misclassification.|
Wants to ensure that Georgia’s new infrastructure funding is distributed transparently and equitably.
Wants to support development in rural Georgia by expanding internet access, updating rural education funding formulas, and funding rural hospitals.
Wants to expand support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, including further investment into small business capital funds.
Supports expanding transportation options, including long-distance passenger trains, local commuter trains, and local commuter buses.
Wants to increase access to housing, including affordable housing. She said, “Renting families and law-abiding, responsible landlords deserve common-sense legal reforms that will make our courts work better for families and property owners.”
Supports incentives for residents and builders that adopt clean energy sources, including biomass, hydro, solar, and wind.
|Healthcare||Supports lower costs and increased access to healthcare across the state.|
As Governor, he proposed initiatives to add more healthcare professionals.
As Governor, he passed a limited Medicaid expansion plan. This plan grants insurance to certain Georgians who meet work and activity requirements, such as working more than 80 hours a month. The plan also diverts Georgians from buying insurance from healthcare.gov to purchasing through private insurance companies.
As Governor, he signed into law the Heartbeat bill, which banned most abortions in Georgia after a fetal heartbeat was detected (around 6 weeks). The bill was later ruled unconstitutional by a judge.
In 2022, he opposed statewide mask mandates and, on occasion, citywide mandates.
|Wants to completely privatize healthcare and get rid of all health mandates, such as the Affordable Care Act.||Said, “All Georgians deserve access to quality, affordable health care services”.|
Supports expanding Medicaid.
Supports pro-choice policies.
Supports programs to recruit and retain more healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities. She also wants to “grow our network of community health workers, doulas, home-visiting service providers and peer support specialists.”
Wants to establish a “Health Equity Action Team” to help Georgians navigate the healthcare process. She said, “I will also require the health plans doing business with the state to identify and address health care disparities in access and outcomes within the populations they serve.”
|Voting & Representation||Wants to continue to provide “secure, accessible, [and] fair” elections.|
As Governor, he advocated and signed SB202 into law, which he calls “the nation’s top-rated election integrity law.”
|Wants to get rid of government and replace it with Bitcoin so that people will vote “for the goods and services they want with their money.”|
Said, “Georgia elections have always been rigged.”
|Said, “As founder of multiple organizations promoting and protecting the right to vote, I have demonstrated a commitment to a strong democracy in Georgia and beyond.”|
Supports making the voting process more convenient, including same-day voter registration and quick processing of voter registration applications.
Wants to work with counties to ensure polling places are fairly allocated, stable, and convenient. She also supports “mobile voting precincts to assist seniors, disabled Georgians and Georgians voting in areas with long wait times”
Wants to end arbitrary rejection of ballots.
Said, “I will veto maps with gerrymandered districts, whether state legislative or Congressional. Moreover, we must end the practice of state interference and restore local control in local elections.”
|Public Safety||As Governor, he announced a $1,000 bonus to all public safety officials in Georgia.|
Wants to continue “cracking down on gang activity and human trafficking.”
As Governor, he allocated $5.6 million for the Law Enforcement Training Grant Program. This program pays for use-of-force and de-escalation training for law enforcement officers.
Supports the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms. He supports constitutional carry, which is the freedom to carry a gun without going through a permitting process.
As Governor, he passed HB 479, which repealed citizen’s arrest in most cases in Georgia. This bill was created in direct response to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who’s killers said they were following citizen’s arrest.
|Wants to make all non-violent crimes legal and pardon all non-violent prisoners, while “violent offenders will be dealt with extreme prejudice.”|
Said, “as the chief executive it is my duty to stand in armed opposition to all that would abuse peaceful people.”
|Supports increased accountability for gun safety, including repealing “campus carry” on college campuses and stopping perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking from obtaining guns.|
Wants to establish a standard minimum salary for all law enforcement.
Supports developing “law enforcement training standards that help de-escalate violence, improve engagement with vulnerable populations and reduce the need for use of force.”
Supports restoring funding to diversion programs.
Wants to pass “clean slate” legislation, which would offer automatic criminal record clearing once someone remains crime-free for a set period of time.