Republican Gov. Brian Kemp endorsed by Democratic predecessor

Former Gov. Joe Frank Harris breaks with his party’s support of Stacey Abrams
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:38 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:54 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A former Democratic Georgia governor has broken with his party’s support of Stacey Abrams.

On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp’s re-election campaign announced the endorsement of Joe Frank Harris, who served as Georgia’s chief executive from 1983 to 1991.

Today the Kemp for Governor campaign announced that conservative small businessman Governor Brian Kemp has received the endorsement of former Governor Joe Frank Harris in his bid for re-election.

“Gov. Kemp is a proven leader,” said Harris. “I am proud of the tough decisions he has made during these challenging times.”

With less than two weeks before election day, Kemp is leading Abrams in many polls in his campaign for a second and final term. Abrams is seeking to become the nation’s first Black female governor after losing to Kemp in 2018 by about 55,000 votes.

More than one million Georgians have already voted in the state’s 2022 midterm elections, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Tuesday.

After two terms, Harris was succeeded by Zell Miller, who rose the issue of a statewide lottery to fund Georgia’s educational system into two terms in the governor’s mansion. Also a Democrat, Miller was later elected to the U.S. Senate, when he famously gave the 2004 keynote speech in the 2004 Republican National Convention while supporting George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.

Roy Barnes succeeded Miller as governor, but only served one term after losing a re-election bid to Sonny Perdue, who became the state’s first Republican governor in more than a century. Barnes was the last Democrat to serve as Georgia’s governor.