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Kemp brings campaign to Rome; Early voting runs through next week

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Floyd County Tax Commissioner Kevin Payne introduced — and endorsed — the secretary of state, who is battling Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the July 24 runoff election to be their party's nominee for the governor's race.

"If we get Brian in the governor's office, he's not going to represent the values of Atlanta," Payne told the crowd. "He's going to represent the values of Rome, Georgia."

Kemp, along with his wife and daughters, spent about 40 minutes talking with supporters before heading out to Emerson and points south. He urged them to help him build on his momentum and spoke briefly about his "4 Point Plan."

"No. 1 is making Georgia No. 1 for business, and I'll start by taking a chainsaw to burdensome regulations," Kemp said.

The winner of the Cagle/Kemp contest will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the Nov. 6 general election to replace Gov. Nathan Deal, who is ineligible to run for re-election.

Several other runoffs are yet to be decided and early voting continues through July 20.

Floyd County Elections Supervisor Willie Green has opened two universal voting precincts — at the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave., and Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle. They're open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All 25 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 24.

Republicans also have to decide between former state Rep. Geoff Duncan and state Sen. David Shafer for their lieutenant governor candidate. The secretary of state nomination is between former Alpharetta mayor David Belle Isle and state Rep. Brad Raffensperger.

Democrats are nominating their state school superintendent candidate. The race is down to Otha Thornton Jr., a former president of the National Parent Teacher Association, and Sid Chapman, president of the Georgia Association of Educators.

Voters can't cross over to the other party for the runoff election. Those who didn't vote in a May primary may choose either party's ballot for the runoff.