Just two days into his term as Georgia’s 83rd governor, Brian Kemp’s tone has changed.
During his campaign, there were concerns about whether he would look after the interest of all Georgians.
But Kemp seems to be approaching his term with a diplomatic and hopeful demeanor.
“After visiting all 159 counties, I can tell you we have so much in common. And as governor, I will fight for all Georgians, not just the ones who voted for me,” he said in his inaugural speech, adding, “There will be difficult days and dark nights, but together we will overcome.”
Kemp is reaching across racial lines that were fiercely drawn during the campaign season. It’s an overt move some critiqued as heavy-handed, but others appreciated.
“They don’t expect shenanigans, they don’t expect a circus act, they expect us to work,” said House Speaker David Ralston.
Work is already beginning this week, as the new session is underway and Kemp is already hinting at plans for improvement.
The governor unveiled plans to allocate $69 million for safety measures in public schools, a new anti-gang task force within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and legislation that would bring “historic” pay raises for teachers.
Kemp is expected to issue his first State of the State on Thursday.