Gov. Brian Kemp visited Dalton this weekend during a part of his per-inauguration tour, where he traveled across Georgia. From Jan. 9-12, Kemp visited eight different cities across the state, hosting events such as a military appreciation breakfast, an event honoring current first responders and law enforcement officers, and a ceremony to recognize Gov. Nathan Deal.
On Saturday at the Dalton Golf & Country Club, Kemp thanked local politicians, residents and members of the Republican Party who supported him.
"We wanted to make sure we got up here to say thank you to everyone and let them know I'm going to be a governor who's working for our whole state, all four corners and everywhere in between," Kemp told the press during the event.
In preparation for his inauguration, Kemp wanted to make sure that the citizens of Georgia know their stories won't be forgotten, and he fully intends to represent every Georgian, he said. He also said it was encouraging to have the support of the presidential administration during the November elections.
Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, and House Rep. Jason Ridley, R-Chatsworth, introduced Kemp to the podium on Saturday, expressing their support for the then governor-elect.
"This is such a hopeful time. Let this be the day people say hope was restored in the state of Georgia," Payne said. "It's not just about Brian Kemp or Geoff Duncan, it's not just about those of us serving in elected office, it's about everyone in this room."
Ridley said that Kemp will be for the people of Georgia, and the representative is confident the new governor will consistently put his citizens first.
"He's the same every single day," Ridley said. "He can go down to somebody's house, rich or poor, and have a cup of coffee and relate to them because he's been there. I can't be prouder of him."
Gordon County residents were also present at the event, including County Commissioner Becky Hood, County Board of Education member Eddie Hall, and two Republicans who are currently in a runoff for the state House District 5 seat, Jesse
Vaughn and Matt Barton.
Both Hood and Hall think Kemp will be a great governor for the state, specifically due to some of his proposed ideas regarding education, taxes and religious freedom.
On Monday at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion, Kemp was officially inaugurated as Georgia's 83rd governor, where he also swore in the 12th Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, as well as other constitutional officers.
"With unprecedented growth and unmatched opportunity, it is a great time to be a Georgian, but we didn't get here alone," Kemp said during the swearing-in ceremony, acknowledging state figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and UGA Coach Vince Dooley. "Many went before us and charted the course."
Kemp also said on Monday he sees a bright future for the state of Georgia, thanks to the hard work of previous governors, namely Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal.
"Georgia is the epicenter of job growth, the Hollywood of the South and soon to be the cyber capital of the world," said Kemp. "As governor, I will work everyday to keep Georgia moving in the right direction. My vision is for a safer, stronger state. I know it can be done."