Georgia candidates kick off 2022 campaigns

Qualifying for the 2022 election is not until next March, but candidates have wasted no time announcing their bids for office.

"In recent years it's become traditional for people to step out as soon as the legislative session is over. So, that ended a couple of weeks ago and political season is now upon us," explained Brian Robinson, of Robinson Republic, a communications consulting firm that works with political candidates.

The legislative session ended shortly after midnight on the morning of April 1. Just hours later, State Rep. Erick Allen, D-Smyrna, declared his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor and Interim Insurance Commissioner John King, who was appointed to the role by Gov. Brian Kemp back in 2019, announced the start of his campaign to keep the job.

This week, King launched a statewide tour with stops in Rome, Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Valdosta and Albany, among other Georgia cities.

"I was honored and humbled that the governor allowed me to continue to serve and now I have to go make my case to Georgians," said King. "So, I'm not only going to introduce myself, but I'm looking forward to listening to what Georgians want this office to be able to accomplish."

State Rep. William Boddie, D-East Point, announced his campaign for Commissioner of Labor on April 5.

Republican businessman Kelvin King released a campaign launch video Monday in his bid to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, and fellow Republican Latham Saddler is set to announce his candidacy in that race later this week.

"One thing about declaring your candidacy is that it allows you to start fundraising," said Robinson. "It is illegal to do so if you have not declared your candidacy and set up a candidate committee. So, that is part of why you're seeing people do it now is it allows them to begin that fundraising process."

Robinson pointed out that statewide campaigns like these require millions of dollars for candidates to be competitive.

"Of course, declaring your candidacy doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be on the ballot in 2022. There's still plenty of time to back out if you launch your campaign and you discover that the support that you thought was going to be there isn't there. It costs a lot of money to run these campaigns, to staff them, to get around the state. It costs money to raise money and so the candidates that are unable to fulfill that will fall by the wayside," said Robinson.

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