But the governor’s footing has steadied in recent weeks with his defense of a far-reaching election overhaul embraced by Trump supporters. The most recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed his job approval hovering at 45%.
He’s so far staved off a serious GOP threat, as former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and other Trump favorites have declined a challenge. Instead, several longshot candidates have lined up, including Democrat-turned-Republican Vernon Jones.
Still, Kemp faces ongoing backlash from activists upset he refused to call a special legislative session to overturn Trump’s defeat. More than a dozen county GOP organizations voted to “censure” Kemp last month, though the effort to rebuke him fizzled out at bigger party gatherings this weekend.
Kemp has surrounded himself with a new team of advisers for his 2022 bid, and the trusted aides who helped him narrowly defeat Abrams will work from outside the bubble of the campaign on a “Stop Stacey” initiative.
His new campaign manager is Bobby Saparow, the former top aide to U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson. Two longtime Kemp staffers – Ian Caraway and Amelia Hawkins – will serve as deputy campaign managers. And Tate Mitchell will be the campaign press secretary.
You can find the list of the Kemp organizers across the state here, which include the names of activists and local officials. Note there’s one extra county listed: Glasgow, a reference to the Abrams gaffe in the 2018 campaign.