The Savage Truth: Non-politicians Absent in Georgia's Gubernatoral Race

Many Georgia voters complaint about the lack of fresh candidates and new faces in congressional and state races.

Unless some newcomers surface, those voters will be disappointed again in next year's gubernatorial race. Gov. Nathan Deal is term limited and can't seek re-election in 2018.

So far, seven hopefuls - two Democrats and five Republicans - have declared their candidacies for Georgia's top elected position. Of those seven, six currently hold state offices. Four of the six - Casey Cagle, Hunter Hill, Brian Kemp and Michael Williams - are Republicans.

The other two - Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans - are Democrats.

Cagle currently serves as  Georgia's 11th lieutenant governor. He won the position in the 2006 general election, the first Republican to hold the office in Georgia history. Prior to that, Cagle held the District 49 state Senate seat from 1995 through 2006. District 49 includes his hometown of Gainesville.

Hill, a small business man, has held Georgia's 6th District state Senate seat since January 2013. That district includes Smyrna where he lives. Hill is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and during his military career, Hill served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

An Athens native, Kemp served four years as a state Senator before becoming Secretary of State in 2010. He's held the position since. He's also a small business owner involved in agribusiness, financial services and real estate management and investment.

Williams also serves in the state Senate, holding the District 47 seat which includes most of Forsyth County. Williams was elected to the Senate in 2014 when he unseated veteran Republican incumbent Jack Murphy in a runoff. Prior to that, Williams ran 18 Sports Clips hair salons for men.

Williams takes pride in pointing out that he was the first Georgia elected official to endorse Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

On the Democratic side, Stacey Abrams recently resigned her District 89 state House seat to work fulltime on her gubernatorial campaign. When she stepped down, Abrams was the House Minority Leader. She's served in the House since 2007. 

Stacey Evans won the House District 42 seat in 2010. That district includes Smyrna and Marietta. She's also an attorney who founded the law firm, S.G. Evans Law, LLC. During the 2016 election, Evans received 73 percent of the district's vote. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton received 61 percent of the district's vote.

That leaves Republican Marc Alan Urbach as the remaining declared gubernatorial hopeful and the only one who doesn't hold an elected office. 

Although a declared Republican, Urbach served as the keynote speaker at several Tea Party rallies in Georgia. They included gatherings in Forsyth, Habersham and Gilmore counties.

Urbach also qualified as a certified write-in candidate in the 2016 presidential election. He received five votes.

That's the gubernatorial lineup so far. Except for Urbach, they all have familiar faces, and they're seasoned politicians. 

Perhaps the Georgia voters who want fresh candidates and new faces will round up someone to fill that void. We'll see how that shakes out.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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