COLUMBUS, Ga. – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp stopped in Columbus Wednesday to discuss his new plans for the upcoming presidential primary. Georgia will be voting in the presidential primary on March 1, 2016.
The Republican and Democratic presidential primaries are both in the same day in Georgia.
Georgia’s presidential primary is being called the SEC primary. Georgia will be joined by Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia to make up the SEC primary.
Kemp said by going to the polls earlier in the primary season next year, Georgians will play a meaningful role in narrowing down the field of presidential candidates. He hopes the SEC primary will bring more campaign stops to our region.
“It’s helped put Georgia and the South on the national map and my belief is that we are the new heartland of America and we should have a say-so in the presidential race,” Kemp explained.
Michael Easton, Columbus State University Political Science Professor, said Georgia should be one of the most influential states in the SEC primary because of its size.
“I think it’s good for Georgia because Georgia is one of the bigger states so because candidates would be coming to the region for the SEC primary they’d probably want to spend more time in Georgia than some of the smaller states,” Easton said.
Kemp is promoting the first-ever Peanut Straw Poll taking place Oct. 8-18 at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Fair-goers will have the chance to place a peanut in their favorite candidate’s bowl. Kemp said he hopes the Peanut Straw Poll will draw a lot of presidential candidates to the event.
Kemp said he hopes the SEC primary will increase voter turn out in Georgia. He said he will continue to push for earlier presidential primaries in Georgia.