Georgia governor’s race 2022: Where candidates stand on key issues

Primaries in Georgia are looming, and after Democrats won several key races during the 2020 election, the eyes of the nation are once again on the state during the 2022 midterm elections.

The Republican primary for governor is contested with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp facing challengers, including a former senator with the endorsement of former President Donald TrumpDavid Perdue.

Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams is vying for office once again after he defeat her in 2018. Abrams, however, won’t face any competition in a primary. 

Here’s a look at each of the candidates to become Georgia’s next governor and where they stand on key issues. 

Brian Kemp, Republican

Kemp is seeking a second term since he beat potential Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams in the 2018 gubernatorial race. 

While in office, Kemp has been at odds with former President Donald Trump over how he handled the 2020 Election when Joe Biden narrowly won the state and Democrats won two senate seats in runoffs. 

Polling shows Kemp holding an advantage over his GOP adversaries, including Trump-backed David Perdue. 

Second Amendment

Kemp pushed to pass the state’s "constitutional carry" bill, which eliminates the need for concealed carry permits for gun owners.

"It’s great to see so much support for the 2nd Amendment, as the General Assembly considers bills to uphold this fundamental right," Kemp tweeted in March. "I am committed to working with both the Georgia House and Senate to get Constitutional Carry across the finish line!"

Election reform

Kemp has vocally backed the Election Integrity Act, which passed in 2021 in response to perceived insecurity during the 2020 presidential election after President Joe Biden won the state and Democrats took both Senate seats. 

Kemp hasn’t aligned with former President Donald Trump’s unproven claims of voter fraud, but he’s emphasized his belief that reducing the number of ballot drop boxes, requiring voter ID to vote by mail and modifying early voting hours have in-fact made voting easier and strengthened election security. 


Kemp has railed against "divisive topics" in schools. He supported a bill to ban teaching Critical Race Theory and another that banned transgender student-athletes from playing high school sports

Kemp’s budget plan, which passed, includes the final installment of his promised teacher pay raise and fully funds the state's Quality Basic Education formula.

Kemp has taken interest in school districts that remove books related to LGBTQ+ issues.

"We'll have a lot of dialogue. I think that's something people at home should know that you know, we're going to be very thoughtful about this and we're talking to everybody involved. We're talking to the parents, for sure, but we're also talking to teachers and superintendents and school board members and the folks back home and I think this will be a good debate for us to have that will move us forward as a state," said Kemp during a visit to a Forsyth County school.


Since Kemp has been in office, Georgia has passed legislation to ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of gestation. 

At the time of passage, Kemp said, "We stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."

David Perdue, Republican

Since former President Donald Trump backed Perdue’s bid for governor, the former senator’s campaign has done what it can to spread the word.

That was the intent of two 2022 rallies, one with the former president as a guest of honor and another featuring Donald Trump Jr. 

Perdue considers himself an "outsider," and has criticized Kemp for being reactive in some of the measures he’s passed in 2022. 

Second Amendment

Perdue criticized Kemp for not pushing for "constitutional carry" sooner. 

Election reform

Perdue, who lost his senate seat to Jon Ossoff during a January 2021 runoff, has echoed Trump’s claims of an illegitimate 2020 election. Before Trump arrived at a rally in Commerce in northeast Georgia, Perdue said "our elections in 2020 were absolutely stolen." He accused Kemp of having "sold out" Georgia voters through a series of actions including refusing to call a special state legislative session before Jan. 6 to investigate or overturn the election.

Perdue has suggested forming an entity to enforce election laws and an independent audit of election results before certification. 


Purdue said he wants to empower parents, and proposed a Parent Bill of Rights similar to the one that Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law this year. 

Perdue said parents should have a "straightforward" way to sue school systems that violate their rights. He opposes Critical Race Theory and divisive ideologies. 


Perdue has publicly supported measures to make abortion laws stricter as a senator. 

Perdue defended Georgia’s "heartbeat bill" in 2019, saying, "Life is precious and should be defended at any stage."

Kandiss Taylor, Republican

Taylor describes herself as a native of South Georgia who worked in public education as a 3rd-grade teacher, counselor, testing coordinator, student services coordinator and homeless liaison.

Taylor has launched an online petition to participate in gubernatorial debates against opponents David Perdue and incumbent Brian Kemp. 

Second Amendment

Taylor says she supports constitutional carry. 

Election reform

Taylor said she wants to remove ballot drop boxes. 

It’s unclear if she is advocating for the complete removal of voting machines or just machines operated by Dominion, a company that was scrutinized by Republicans during the fallout of the 2020 election. 

Taylor also said she intends to remove absentee ballots.

She advocated for a forensic audit of the 2020 election in Georgia. 


Taylor said she is against certain concepts being taught in Georgia schools, including critical race theory, comprehensive sex education, and social-emotional learning. 


Taylor said she intends to criminalize abortion upon proof of pregnancy, which would be the strictest abortion regulation in the U.S. 

Stacey Abrams, Democrat

Abrams is the only democratic candidate to officially qualify for governor. She campaigned for the job in 2018 and lost to current governor Brian Kemp. 

A tendency to attack Abrams is one thing all of the GOP gubernatorial candidates have shared. She came under fire for removing a mask during a photo opportunity at a Georgia elementary school. Republican candidates later criticized her for comments during a rally, in which she stated, "I did the work, now I want the job."

Her opponents haven’t hesitated to mention her unwillingness to immediately concede defeat to Brian Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election. 

Second Amendment

Abrams swiftly denounced Kemp’s push for constitutional carry. Her campaign spokesperson called the proposal reckless and said it threatened Georgians’ lives. 

Abrams’ stance on the second amendment is linked to her public safety policy. 

In an interview with FOX 5 Atlanta, Abrams said she would address that by working hand-in-hand with law enforcement to make sure they have the resources they need, as well as the underlying issues like education and economics.

"Corollary to that is gun violence," said Abrams. "Part of that is the fact that Georgia has weakened its gun laws under Brian Kemp, and we have seen an erosion of safety for our communities. That is not something that should be sustainable in this state. Gun safety does not mean taking away a single person's weapon or their right to own. I believe in the 2nd Amendment, but I also believe in gun safety."

Election reform

Since losing the 2018 race for governor, Abrams has been bent on increasing voter turnout and fighting restrictive election laws. Abrams’ organization, Fair Fight Action, took some of the credit for turning the once-staunchly Republican state closer to a shade of "purple."

Abrams criticized Georgia’s election reform, saying it disproportionally affects minority voters. 


Abrams said she intends to pursue educational equity and mobility. She said it starts with scholarships for early-childhood education. 

She supports an institutionalized teacher pipeline and the structure to fund a permanent plan to raise teacher salaries. 

Abrams advocates for tuition-free technical college and need-based aid programs. 


Abrams advocates for women and families to have the right to make their own healthcare decisions with ample access to reproductive health care. Abrams sees Medicaid expansion as a way to address maternal and infant mortality in Georgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this piece.