The responses to these questions were edited for length and clarity by the Georgia Decides team. Each candidate was allotted 150 words for each answer and some answers were trimmed in order to abide by that length requirement. Other edits were made to make sure readers can fully follow and understand the candidate responses.
Campaigning for: Governor
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
As a state senator, secretary of state, and now governor, I have worked to cut red tape and ensure our state government works to serve our people — not control their lives. My administration has worked alongside the General Assembly to champion the policies that earned Georgia the title of No. 1 state for doing business (by Area Development magazine), and created record job growth. During the pandemic, we protected lives and livelihoods, chose individual freedom over government lockdowns, and set our state on a path to record economic success. If Georgians trust me with their vote, I will work around the clock to continue building a state where Georgians have the opportunity to thrive — no matter their zip code.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
Families across our state are facing the consequences of 40-year-high inflation caused by failed leadership in Washington, D.C. Because Georgia reopened first during the pandemic, we’ve been able to use record revenues to help Georgians fight through that with a $1 billion tax refund and by suspending the gas tax since March. If I am reelected, I will continue working with the General Assembly to enact real inflation relief through another $1 billion tax refund and a property tax rebate that will save the average Georgian 15% to 25% on their property taxes. I will continue to put more money back into hardworking Georgians’ pockets to help them fight through rising costs. We will also tackle challenges facing our schools, including addressing learning loss, strengthening school security and recruiting more school counselors. And we will continue to enact policies that keep Georgia the best state for businesses and keep our communities safe.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
As a small businessman for over 35 years, I’ve built houses alongside and employed Georgians from all walks of life. I have traveled to all 159 counties of this state, and in the barber shops, local restaurants, and convenience stores I’ve visited, I’ve met people who agree with me, and some who don’t. But every day, I have gone to work for each of those Georgians and their families to keep our state open, build an economy that generates opportunity for everyone, and ensure that every person who calls our state home has the ability to succeed. When I took my oath to serve as Georgia’s 83rd governor, I promised the people of our state that I would fight for them whether they voted for me or not. I intend to make that same promise if I am honored to serve another four years as governor.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
My first vote for president was to reelect Ronald Reagan. As a successful governor and president, he showed the world how responsible fiscal policy, keeping taxes low, and a belief in the American Dream can create incredible prosperity for hardworking Americans and their families. I have tried to govern the same way as Georgia’s governor these last four years.
Georgia has a lot to offer current and potential residents, but many parts of the state are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Please explain your proposed approach to address housing affordability through legislation and executive actions?
First and foremost, for Georgia to continue to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family, we have to attract good paying jobs to all corners of our state, expand our world-class workforce development programs, and protect the Peach State’s unmatched business environment. As the cost of living, including housing,continues to rise due to bad policies out of Washington D.C., I’ll continue working to make sure Georgians have great career opportunities for themselves and their families. State government agencies will also continue to partner with nonprofits, utilize available federal funds, and work alongside local governments to address housing accessibility for our most vulnerable.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
As governor, I have been proud to work across the aisle to accomplish a lot of good for our state — on adoption reform, foster care reform, the fight to end human trafficking, signing our state’s first anti-hate crimes legislation, repealing Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law, cutting taxes and other important issues. Many of these reforms received overwhelming — or unanimous — bipartisan support. I will always work with anyone — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — on policies that reflect our values as a state and ensure we can build a brighter future for Georgia families.
There were politicians who questioned the outcomes of Georgia elections in 2018 and 2020. Do you think Georgia’s elections are secure and will you stand by the results?
Yes, and yes.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion. If elected, how will you use your authority to influence abortion access or enforcement of abortion restrictions?
As Georgia’s governor, I support current state law.
Under what circumstances would you expand Medicaid in Georgia? What would factor into your decision-making process?
Throughout my first term, Republicans passed more than 52 bills aimed at creating affordable and accessible health care. Under the Patients First Act, we created two waivers to cover more Georgians, provide a pathway off the failed promises of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), and increase private sector competition to drive down costs.
These efforts have gotten results. Since signing the Patients First Act, Georgia has nearly tripled the number of health insurance carriers offering plans in the individual market, and premiums statewide have dropped 12% on average. In 2019, 74% of Georgia’s counties only had one carrier offering insurance in the individual market. In 2022, that figure is at 2%.
The Biden’s administration is playing politics and halting the complete implementation of those waivers, but we aren’t backing down. I will continue fighting to make health care accessible for the first time to hundreds of thousands and more affordable for millions more.
Job readiness is critical to Georgia’s economic success. How will you help Georgia workers prepare for the workforce of the future, which will require different skills?
Throughout my first term, we have invested record sums in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which provides critical job training skills in growing industries and plays an active role in overseeing Georgia Quick Start, the top-ranked workforce development program in the country. In fact, Georgia’s workforce development programs are a key reason we’ve been named the top state for business for an unprecedented 9th year in a row. In a second term, I will continue to work alongside TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier, members of the General Assembly, and other leaders in higher education to continue making key investments so Georgia’s workforce is able to meet the record-breaking job opportunities we created during my first term.