Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Rules Out 2024 Bid; Keeps ‘Open Mind’ About Endorsing Primary Candidate

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to supporters during an election night watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. Kemp easily turned back a GOP primary challenge Tuesday from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who was backed by former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will not run for president in 2024 and is waiting to see how the Republican primary field shakes out before throwing his support behind a candidate.

Kemp revealed his plans to stay out of the race in a recent Wall Street Journal interview after his name had been floated in some polls and the outlet had published an opinion piece by consultant Scott Wescott declaring Kemp a “logical choice” for the job.

Kemp, a popular governor who has gained national prominence in recent years, also told the WSJ he is “keeping an open mind” about whom he might endorse:

I have a great relationship with Pence and a really good relationship with DeSantis. Chris Christie came and campaigned for us multiple times, along with a lot of other governors. I know Tim Scott real well. Nikki Haley came and campaigned for us. I’ve known her over the years, and I’ve gotten to meet [Mike] Pompeo a couple of times. So I’m kind of like everybody else, I’m just seeing how things are playing out and keeping an open mind.

Asked about former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner of the three declared candidates in the GOP primary, Kemp said, “Yeah, I haven’t heard from Trump.”

Kemp first took the national spotlight after the 2020 presidential election, when Trump began publicly blasting Kemp for Georgia’s modified election procedures that year that, Trump alleges, allowed voter fraud that narrowly cost him the presidential race in Georgia, a critical battleground state.

RELATED — Trump: GA Governor Could Stop Election from Being Stolen ‘Easily if He Knew What the H*ll He Was Doing’

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Kemp, however, became a low-key nemesis for Trump earlier on, when he decided to open Georgia businesses in the midst of coronavirus closures before any other state and before Trump’s recommended opening date.

RELATED — GA Gov. Kemp: I’m Not Standing with Mask Mandate Politicians Wanting to Shut Down Our Economy

Governor Brian Kemp / Facebook


Trump publicly “absolutely trashed me” over the move, the governor told the WSJ.

Despite the outrage that Trump, Republicans’ leading national voice, has for years now directed at Kemp, the governor handily won his reelection race in a rematch against Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.

From left: US Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, attends a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 16 until Jan. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia attends a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2023 (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber).

After his victory, Kemp went on to open a political action committee called Hardworking Americans for federal fundraising purposes and attended the international World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he deviated from the talking points of the typical climate-focused billionaire attendees to advocate for “secur[ing] the dang border.”

The activity on the national stage has undoubtedly raised Kemp’s profile, and while he will pass on a 2024 run, he has not ruled out running for Sen. Jon Ossoff’s (D-GA) Senate seat in 2026.

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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