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Deal Is Likely to Sign Campus Carry; Kemp Is Officially In for Governor

For your Sunday reading pleasure, here are a couple of items from the AJC that will be of special interest to Athenians:

First, Greg Bluestein reports on whether Gov. Nathan Deal, who vetoed campus carry last year, will sign it this time. He says it’s likely, because exceptions added to the bill this year make it more palatable to the governor.

This year, the governor signaled a willingness to reopen the debate. In a late compromise between House and Senate leaders, lawmakers approved a measure that acceded to Deal’s demands to bar guns from on-campus child care facilities, faculty and administrative office space, and disciplinary meetings.

It also would exempt classrooms where high school students attend college campuses, as well as dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses, and athletic events.

Deal has said he is “receptive” to the bill as long as it made those changes, but he declined to comment on the measure Friday. Supporters expressed confidence he would sign the legislation, even if they had to include the restrictions that many social conservatives opposed.

Bluestein also reports that former Athens state senator and current Secretary of State Brian Kemp struck a Trumpian tone in his speech Saturday officially announcing he’s running for governor.

The Athens Republican pledged to impose an adjustable spending cap on Georgia’s growing state budget and return leftover money to taxpayers. And Kemp, a veteran of state GOP politics, drew applause from hundreds at a Cobb GOP breakfast with broadsides against “fake news” and the well-connected political status quo.

He promised his administration would “treat rural Georgia the same way we treat metro Atlanta” and emphasized his background as the owner of stone and construction firms – jobs he continues to hold while working in his $130,000-a-year state post.

“It helped that unlike many, I never, ever became a full-time politician,” said Kemp, a former state senator who was first appointed to the Secretary of State’s job by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010.

Kemp is the first to enter what will likely be a crowded GOP primary to succeed Deal, who’s term-limited.