Have you ever wondered what the net worth of Brian Kemp is?
Georgia’s 83rd Governor and Republican Party member has been in politics for around two decades. Before, he was a businessman and a natural entrepreneur.
Over the years, Kemp’s fortune has piqued the interest of both supporters and opponents.
As of May 2023, Brian Kemp has a net worth of $8.6 million. This article will explore Kemp’s journey from business to politics and how both fields have contributed to his wealth.
Table of Contents
Brian Kemp was born in Athens, Georgia, on November 2, 1963, to William L. Kemp II. Kemp comes from one of Georgia’s most prominent families, with a long and rich history of political power.
In fact, Kemp’s grandfather was Julian H. Cox, a respected businessman and a member of the Georgia Legislature. In the 1950s and 1960s, he served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and the State Senate.
Kemp spent elementary and middle school at the private Athens Academy. In the ninth grade, he transferred to Clarke Central High School, where he played football for Billy Henderson.
After he graduated in 1983, Kemp attended the University of Georgia and earned a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture.
Before entering politics, Kemp was a small business owner. He launched his first business, Kemp Development and Construction Company, with a pickup truck and a shovel in 1993. Kemp then expanded into other fields, including rental properties and farming.
As a small business owner, Kemp was dissatisfied with government regulations. That’s why he decided to shift his career, which wasn’t surprising given his and his wife’s family history.
Kemp’s grandfather and father-in-law both served as Democrats in the legislature. The state was also dominated by Democrats.
However, Kemp decided to run as a Republican. He ran for and won his first State Senate seat as a Republican in 2002.
He was elected to represent District 46 after defeating the Democrat Doug Haines. In 2004, he defeated Becky Vaughn and was re-elected.
Kemp wasn’t as lucky in 2006 when he ran for Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, losing the race to Gary Black.
Kemp was also going to run for State Senate to represent District 47 when Ralph Hudgens announced his plan to run for Congress. However, Hudgens decided to run for re-election to the State Senate, throwing a wrench in Kemp’s plans.
Nevertheless, Kemp got a chance at a constitutional office in 2010. He ran for Georgia’s Secretary of State and won the elections.
In turn, he became the 27th Secretary of the State and the second Republican since the 1970s. He was re-elected in 2014.
In 2017, Kemp announced his candidacy for Governor of Georgia in the 2018 gubernatorial election. He also decided to keep his position as Secretary of State to oversee the elections.
Despite some challenges during the campaign, Kemp resigned as Secretary of State and was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia in January 2019.
In November 2022, he defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, to win a second full term as Georgia Governor.
Kemp’s path to becoming a politician was fraught with challenges.
His decision to remain as Secretary of State became a major weakness in both the runoff and general election campaigns.
Kemp’s opponent, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, tried to portray Kemp as an inept Secretary of State during the primary campaign.
Despite this, Kemp defeated Cagle with 69.5% of the vote, thanks to the support of other eliminated Republican candidates, as well as former President Donald Trump at the request of former Governor Sonny Perdue.
In the run against Democrat Stacey Abrams, Kemp was accused of voter suppression by Abrams and political scientist Michael Bernhard.
Kemp’s response was to announce that the state’s office was looking into a failed hacking attempt by the Georgia Democratic Party. The Democratic Party vehemently denied this claim, and it was later revealed that no evidence of such a hack existed.
Even after becoming Governor in 2019, Kemp faced some of the greatest controversies in his political career.
Just months after taking office, Kemp signed one of the country’s most stringent and controversial anti-abortion laws. Federal courts had to issue a permanent injunction to void this law, which was later overturned by the Supreme Court.
Kemp has also backed efforts to overturn and hinder the Affordable Care Act, as well as a full Medicaid expansion.
As a result, the Governor drew criticism and controversy for his Trump-like policies and themes.
Former Ally Donald Trump
Kemp’s greatest political challenge came from within his Republican Party.
During the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden defeated Trump, marking Georgia’s first vote for a Democratic nominee for president since 1992.
These results led former President Donald Trump to claim that the elections were rigged repeatedly.
So, when Kemp certified the results, he faced strong criticism from Trump, who said that he felt “ashamed” to have supported Kemp’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign.
Such claims sparked speculation among Republicans that Kemp could face a Trump-backed primary challenger in the 2022 gubernatorial elections.
In December 2020, Trump also demanded Kemp’s resignation, while his attorney Lin Wood demanded Kemp’s imprisonment. Not to mention that he stated at a rally in Perry, Georgia, that he would prefer for Stacey Abrams to replace Kemp.
In March 2021, however, Kemp stated that he’d support Trump if he ran for the presidency in 2024.
Still, a couple of months later, in December 2021, Republican Senator David Perdue announced that he was running for Governor of Georgia with Trump’s support.
Perdue’s and Trump’s efforts, however, weren’t successful. Kemp defeated Perdue in a landslide, receiving 74% of the vote.
Brian Kemp Net Worth 2023
As of May 2023, Brian Kemp has a net worth of $8.6 million.
Much of Kemp’s fortune comes from the financial success of his three-decade business career, as well as the wise decision to abandon unprofitable investments.
Most of Kemp’s net income comes from investments in:
- Farming and Timber
- Real Estate
- Rental Properties
Kemp’s political positions have also contributed a sizable portion to his wealth over the years.
While Kemp’s salary accounts for only a portion of his wealth, it’s still a factor. On average, a State Governor earns between $147,000 and $150,000.
Kemp’s salary stands at $175,000 from his gubernatorial role, which ranks 10th highest among the 50 states.
That said, Kemp, like most people, experienced financial difficulties during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. He also had to deal with legal issues.
All of these issues caused Kemp’s net worth to plummet. Nevertheless, his net worth was able to recover and even doubled from 2018 to 2022.
Investments and Assets
Kemp owns Specialty Stone, a retail stone supply yard that he founded with a partner in 1999.
In addition, Kemp owns several rental properties under companies that he co-owns with either his wife or other business partners:
- Kemp Properties; co-owned with Marty Kemp in Milledgeville, Georgia.
- Lewis & Kemp Properties, LLC; bought a three-acre block with Cliff Lewis to develop the Dearing Garden Apartment Complex in Athens, Georgia.
- Devore-Kemp Properties, LLC; developed four acres of property with Mike Devore that’s now known as the Shoal Creek rental apartment complex.
- S.C. Partners, LLC; bought seven acres with Cliff Lewis to complete the Shoal Creek complex.
- BKPI, LLC; owns a few acres of a warehouse property with Marty Kemp in Bogart, Georgia.
According to Kemp’s financial disclosure statement, Kemp is currently an investor in a row crop farm in Colombia, South America. The companies responsible for operation on this farm are COAG South American, CAIG, and CAIG Columbia SAS.
In addition, Kemp has a 12.5% stake in three properties through Plantation Partners in Carlton, Georgia.
As for other general investments, Kemp is an investor in GHA Utilities and its holding company, BGBC. He was also an investor and a founding board member in the First Madison Bank & Trust before it was sold in 2019.
Overall, Kemp’s impressive investment portfolio has been expanding for over 30 years, which eventually paid off. That’s how his net worth grew from $5.2 million in 2018 to $8.6 in 2022.
Kemp also has a property in Athens that’s a little under $700,000 and around $270,000 in cash.
Over the years, Kemp has had to let go of certain investments that were more trouble than they were worth.
In 2006, Kemp dissolved his first construction company, Kemp Development and Construction.
In 2019, he offloaded his investment in Hart Agstrong. Kemp was the subject of several negative headlines after investors in the company filed lawsuits for unpaid debts. After he settled the lawsuits, Kemp sold his 8% stake in the company.
In 2020, Kemp also sold his stake in Shelter Rock Partners at a nearly $290,000 loss. He had invested in a property and Clarks Hill Lake in Lincoln County in 2007.
However, after the recession, the property and the lake lost their value. Not to mention that the lake’s levels dropped significantly due to the drought.
Financial Issues and Legal Issues
Kemp’s net worth took a sharp vicissitude due to the Great Recession. To keep other areas afloat, the state had to run up credit lines and leverage revenue across businesses, such as Kemp’s rental properties.
As a result, Kemp had a negative net income of less than $60,000 and stated in one interview that he had to borrow money from others to live.
Kemp also had to take out a second mortgage on his house, which he’s still paying for.
Similarly, Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams, was in debt in 2018. However, through book royalties and speaking fees, her wealth increased by millions over the past four years.
In 2018, Kemp’s financial standing was also in a precarious position due to a lawsuit. Rick Phillips, a financier, filed a lawsuit against Kemp for failing to pay back a portion of business loans.
According to the lawsuit, Kemp negotiated and guaranteed $10 million in business loans for Hart AgStrong, a struggling Kentucky-based canola-crushing company.
The North Georgia investor claimed that Kemp owed him $500,000 from the $10 million business loan.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that Hart AgStrong made guarantees on assets it didn’t own. It also reimbursed suppliers with proceeds from insurance settlements.
Such actions can be considered a felony in Georgia. However, in the end, Kemp and Phillips reached a settlement days before Kemp became Governor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are Brian Kemp’s beliefs?
Republican Brian Kemp is a devout Christian and an active member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia.
His faith can often be seen woven into his politics. In 2022, Kemp announced the Faith Protection Act, legislation that ensures no future Governor of Georgia has the power to limit the religious practice.
What previous offices did Brian Kemp serve?
From 2003 to 2007, Kemp served as a Georgia State Senator. He also served as chairman of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, as well as vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee.
Kemp also served as the Secretary of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, as well as a member of the Appropriations Committee.
In 2010, Kemp ran and won his first election to the office of Georgia Secretary of State for a full term. Four years later, he was re-elected.
How do I contact Governor Kemp?
You can’t contact Governor Kemp directly. However, there are several ways to get in touch with his office.
The first method of contact is to visit the state’s official website’s Constituent Services page. You can either fill out a form that will be emailed to the office or call for an immediate response.
You can also call the office’s main number or visit the state’s office if you’re in Atlanta.
It’s worth noting that the state’s official website answers frequently asked questions as well as provides solutions and information for the most common concerns on its Contact Us page.
Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Kemp built a reputable career as a small businessman. His experience taught him firsthand about the inadequacies of the state’s government regulations.
Instead of sitting back, Kemp made the life-altering decision to enter politics. He worked his way up until he reached a position where he could make actual changes.
He got rid of any unnecessary and burdensome barriers that prevented small businesses from thriving. He also maintained Georgia’s competitive tax environment while making government interfaces easily navigable for taxpayers seeking information.
If you’re in a frustrating situation, you can’t sit and wait for change to take place. You should recognize that you have the ability to make a change.
So, take action and begin moving toward the path of change.
Perseverance Triumphs in the End
Kemp’s political career has been anything but smooth.
During his time as Georgia Secretary of State, Kemp drew criticism when his office exposed the personal information of voters during the 2015 and 2017 elections. He was also accused of voter suppression by Democrats during the 2018 elections.
Kemp also provoked controversy during his election campaigns due to his Republican-leaning policies.
Still, today, Kemp serves his second full term as Georgia’s 83rd Governor, with an approval rating of up to 50% as of April 2022.
You can expect failure on any path to success. If you give up when the journey gets rocky, you risk missing out on achieving your goals and dreams.
However, if you’re willing to work hard and persevere through challenges, you can carve your path to success.
Know When to Cut Your Losses
Kemp’s investments make up a significant portion of his net worth. One of the main reasons he’s been able to make such a high profit from his shares is that he knew when to drop the unprofitable ones.
According to the Georgia Governor, the over $3 million increase in net worth was mainly due to him offloading investments.
Giving up those investments that weren’t profitable or were losing money allowed the other more profitable ones to thrive.
Knowing when to pivot or cut your losses in business can help you maintain or increase your fortune.
So, if your investment isn’t meeting your objectives or is dragging down your bottom line, it’s time to pull the plug. When you cut the anchor that’s dragging you down, you’re more likely to gain more.