DPG Calls on Brian Kemp to Resign as Secretary of State

August 7, 2018

Kemp Should Follow the Bipartisan Examples of Max Cleland and Karen Handel

GEORGIA—Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia called on Brian Kemp to resign from his position as Secretary of State.

Brian Kemp has failed to maintain vital boundaries between the Secretary of State’s office and his gubernatorial campaign, risking the integrity of the election. In the past week alone, Brian Kemp has received significant criticism for linking the official Secretary of State (SoS) app to his social media accounts. After drawing an ethics complaint for the promotion of his candidacy on a state website, the Secretary of State’s office closed down the “My Voter Page” website (where voters can register to vote or check to make sure their registration is updated) with almost no notice to the public.

These actions come on the heels of several reports that Georgia’s election systems were targeted for hacking in 2016. Under Brian Kemp’s lead, Georgia also removed 1.3 million voters from the state’s voting rolls between the years 2013 and 2017. With new revelations that Brian Kemp is still earning a full-time salary while concurrently running for Governor and working in the Secretary of State’s office part time- if that- the Democratic Party of Georgia insists that he resign from the office of the Secretary of State immediately.

There is bipartisan precedent for a candidate for higher office to resign from the Secretary of State’s office during their campaign. In 2010, Karen Handel resigned as Secretary of State to run for Governor. At the time, she stated:

“I also took into consideration that I did not want any perceived conflicts of interest concerning my overseeing the primary or general elections, investigating complaints that arise, and certifying the results of the elections while a candidate for Governor and serving as Secretary of State.”

Former Democratic U.S. Senator Max Cleland resigned as Secretary of State in 1996 to run for the United States Senate.

Of Kemp, Senator Max Cleland stated:

“Kemp should resign his position as Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is the Chief Elections Officer, if any Secretary of State runs for higher office, they should resign the office like I did when I ran for U.S. Senate.”

Georgia voters cannot trust Brian Kemp to administer an election in which he is running for higher office. His conflict of interests and his willingness to put the gubernatorial campaign over his responsibilities as Secretary of State jeopardizes the integrity of this year’s General Election.

“With Brian Kemp’s conflicts of interests, willingness to put the duties of his gubernatorial campaign over the responsibilities of the Secretary of State’s office, and the questions we have about the integrity of the election process, Brian Kemp should immediately resign as Secretary of State,” said Georgia Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter“Georgians deserve fair, free unpartisan elections. Brian Kemp should follow in the footsteps of his predecessors from both sides of the aisle and resign as Secretary of State.


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