Brian Kemp
Source: Getty Images

Brian Kemp Leads in Georgia GOP Primary, Isn't Related to Jack Kemp

Danielle Letenyei - Author
By

May 24 2022, Published 2:37 p.m. ET

Trump may not like Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, but most Republicans in the state do. In a Fox News poll for the Georgia governor’s race, 60 percent of GOP voters prefer incumbent Kemp. In comparison, only 28 percent say they’ll vote for Trump-back candidate former Senator David Perdue. Is Kemp related to Jack Kemp?

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Although the two men share the same surname and political affiliation, they aren't related. The rumors that Jack Kemp is his father aren't true. Kemp’s father is William L. Kemp.

brian kemp
Source: Getty Images
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Brian Kemp is an entrepreneur-turned-politician.

Kemp was born and raised in Athens, Ga. He didn’t venture far from home for college, attending the University of Georgia in Athens, where he studied agriculture.

Before Kemp entered the political arena, he was a successful entrepreneur who started his first company, Kemp Development and Construction Company, with a pickup truck and a shovel, his governor’s bio states.

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“I know first-hand how hard it is to start a business,” Kemp told the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2018. “Those first few years are rough. I was working, literally, seven days a week to pay the bank and pay my bills and survive.”

And his hard work paid off. Through his real estate investments, Kemp’s net worth grew to over $5 million, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Kemp entered politics in 2003 when he was elected Georgia State Senator, defeating incumbent Democratic candidate Doug Haines. He served in the Senate until 2007.

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In 2010, Kemp was elected as the Georgia Secretary of State after serving a few months in the role after being appointed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue, who happens to be the cousin of Kemp’s current political opponent, David Perdue.

Brian Kemp narrowly defeated Stacey Abrams in the 2018 governor election.

Kemp resigned as Secretary of State when he was elected Governor in 2018. In the 2018 Governor’s race, Kemp narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, and many believe an endorsement by former President Donald Trump helped Kemp win the election.

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What does Trump have against Kemp?

But Kemp fell out of Trump’s favor just two years later in 2020 after Kemp refused to try to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. President Joe Biden narrowly won the Georgia vote by just 11,779 votes, which made him the first Democrat to win the state in about 30 years.

In a 2020 interview with Fox News, Trump said he was “ashamed” for endorsing Kemp in the 2018 governor’s race. Trump even called for Kemp to resign from office.

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“@BrianKempGA should resign from office. He is an obstructionist who refuses to admit that we won Georgia, BIG! Also won the other Swing States,” Trump tweeted in 2020 when he was still allowed on Twitter.

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The olive branch Kemp presented when he said he would back Trump in a 2024 presidency run didn’t deter Trump from recruiting the former Perdue to run against Kemp for governor in the 2022 primary election.

Former VP Mike Pence endorses Brian Kemp.

However, former Vice President Mike Pence announced his endorsement for Kemp just weeks before the primary election. “Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia,” Pence said in a statement. “I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia!”

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