Architect of SEC primary has some timely advice for Georgia-bound candidates

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp engineered Tuesday's Southern-flavored primary by encouraging Georgia's neighbors to join in a March 1 vote. And on Saturday, he posted a video with a timely bit of advice for the candidates competing in the "SEC primary."

His goal was to give Southern voters a more prominent voice in selecting the next nominee, but whether it works remains to be seen. A flock of other states, from Alaska to Vermont, also hold their votes on the same day. And Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's dominance - he leads the polls in every March 1 state but Texas - could blunt the region's impact.

What's clear is the March 1 primary has reshaped campaign strategy and could redefine the race for the White House. And Georgia has fast become a must-visit stop for presidential candidates.

Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both visited Atlanta over the last week, and all five of the remaining Republican contenders will hold rallies in Georgia in the final days before Tuesday's vote.

In Kemp's welcome video, he offers the contenders some guidance:

"As you work to earn votes around our state, I encourage you to learn more about the needs of our agriculture industry, our military bases and how critical the expansion of the port of Savannah is to job creation and economic development."

Bear in mind, the slick video serves another purpose for Kemp as well: An introduction to a wider audience for a potential candidate for governor in 2018.

The Georgia graduate ends it thusly: "Good luck on March 1 in the SEC primary and, of course, go Dawgs."

Read more about the weekend's events here

How the SEC primary has reshaped the race

Georgia gets a share of the spotlight as vote draws near

Everything else you need to know about the SEC primary

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.