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These candidates say they're running for Georgia governor

These candidates are getting a head start before the 2022 election.

ATLANTA — Georgia residents will have a chance to elect a governor next year and with the race 11 months away, it's already proving to be a hotly contended battle

After the Peach State swung in favor of President Joe Biden in the last presidential election, there's renewed national interest in who the state will select as its new leader next November.

Here's who has announced their run for governor so far.

Republicans

It's already a crowded race for the GOP nomination as several governor-hopefuls have announced their campaign for Georgia's top office.

Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia's sitting governor has already announced his intention to stay in office. The incumbent announced his re-election campaign in July and was one of the first to jump on the 2022 campaign trail.

Kemp has held office since 2019 and has been part of Georgia's political makeup since 2003. The Republican candidate previously served as Georgia's Secretary of State and was a member of the Georgia Senate. The University of Georgia alum earned the most votes than any gubernatorial candidate in state history when he was elected in 2018.

Former State Rep. Vernon Jones 

The Democrat-turned-Republican announced his intention to unseat Kemp in April.

Vernon's campaign to "Take Back Georgia" as a self-identified pro-Trump candidate also targets Democratic hopeful Stacey Abrams. Touting his experience in the Georgia House of Representatives, which he served in as a Democrat from 1993 to 2001 and again from 2017 to 2021, the North Carolina native's core platform is to secure Georgia's elections. 

Vernon has garnered national attention by echoing former President Trump's accusations of the November 2020 presidential election as "fixed." 

Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue

Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue recently announced his gubernatorial campaign while taking shots at Democratic hopeful Abrams and current governor Kemp.

The 71-year-old of Macon, Georgia served in the U.S. Senate from 2015 to 2021. Perdue is a business executive and said removing the state income tax is a key part of his platform.

Kandiss Taylor

Kandiss Taylor of Baxley, Georgia announced she is running for governor on the platform of "morality over money."

On her website, Taylor boldly says her campaign will be centered around Jesus, guns and babies, adding that conservative values will be at the core of her platform. The educator says she is running to give Georgia an option that is non-establishment, honest, conservative, and a true representative of We, The People, according to her website.

Catherine Davis

Catherine Davis announced her bid for Georgia's governor last month. 

Her platform surrounds election integrity, protecting infant life in the womb and parents' right to select a school they feel will best provide the education they seek for their children, according to a news release. Davis is one of the only female challengers in the Republican primary, alongside Taylor.  

Democrats

As of December, there's only one candidate that has publicly announced their campaign for Georgia governor.

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, whose name was floated by her Republican opponents before even entering the race, announced her intent to unseat Kemp.

Abrams announced her run for governor Dec. 1. The political hopeful was in the national spotlight during her 2018-try for Georgia's top office. It was a tough race, but Abrams ultimately was defeated by Kemp.

However, she has spent the last two years hosting voter drives and strengthening the national Democratic Party, a strategy political analysts said helped Biden win over Georgia in the last presidential election and one that could pay off in the 2022 governor's race.

Though these candidates have announced their intent to run for governor in 2022, they have to qualify under the state election laws. Qualifying begins for Georgia's primary elections March 7, 2022. The general primary election is May 24, 2022.

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