BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, October 11, 2018: “I’m just like any other Indian American – a small business owner, husband and father of three teenage daughters. People from the Indian community have great values, and I appreciate the community involvement,” said Brian Kemp, lifelong Georgian, and Republican candidate for Governor, when asked why Indian-Americans must vote for him. With a little over a month away from elections, Kemp candidly interacted with the Indian-American media at a press conference on September 25, 2018 in his campaign office in Atlanta.
“My Indian-American friends are very hospitable, they want to help make the state better. We have robust plans for issues that matter to the Indian-American community and hardworking Georgians, be it fostering small business, focus on education, public safety plan to keep our kids and schools safe, budget conservatively, lower taxes or reduce government regulation,” he said.
“I want to be a governor that supports Georgia for small business, ensure that no matter what your zip code is, you have the same opportunities as anyone else, such as have access to internet, accessible low cost healthcare options, prescription drugs, transportation initiatives, and have good placements in your community where you can provide for your family,” he said.
Kemp added that while he was excited about the direction the state is headed and had the capability to carry on and build upon it, he also has a vision to move it to the next level.
“I decided to run for State Senate in early 2000 because I was frustrated with the government. We need a small business personality to tackle regulations, lower taxes and bring good conservative values to the state government,” he said in his address before the Q&A with the press.
“I served two terms and later ran for Secretary of State because I felt the office needed a tell-it-like-it-is business person and streamline the executive branch using technology to make it more efficient and make sure we have secure elections in the state.”
Listing streamlining state legislature with technology with an improved, efficient voter registration system equipped with private cyber network security monitored 24/7 and web-based data center as one of his achievements as Secretary of State, Kemp said he would carry on the legacy as governor to improvise the office using technology.
Responding to NRI Pulse’s question seeking his views on legal immigration and the H1-B visa, Kemp said ,“we cannot have a legal immigration system without secure borders.”
“We need people to come into the county in the right way, through the process. That’s what makes this country great. So, I’m very supportive of legal immigration. What I’m not supportive of is illegal immigration that is causing a strain on the economy and the taxpayers, including Indian-Americans.”
He said while he supported different guest workers programs at the federal level, he believed that they need to be reformed.
“I don’t support my opponent’s view of HUD grants to people that are here illegally and bankrupt the system for those that are here legally and our citizens of the state. Most Georgians are in line with that including Indian-Americans.”
“I never said I was going to round up illegal immigrants, only criminal illegal immigrants. I will most certainly go after illegal drug cartels, sex-trafficking and address the opium epidemic issues,” Kemp said, citing a recent drug bust of over 400K.
The Gubernatorial candidate said he very much supports trade between India and Georgia. We are an international state. There is a lot of traffic coming into the port of Savannah. If there a good reason for governor Brian Kemp to do a trade mission to India, I would definitely look forward to it.”
“These crimes are committed by gang that are being recruited at a very young age even at schools which is outrageous! We are going to work with local prosecutors and local law enforcement to give them the tools and resources to go after this kind of crime. “said Kemp when a member of the press asked about burglaries targeting Indian-American homes.
On diversity in the party, he had this to say: “The Republican party is as diverse as it gets. We had a diversity coalition press conference recently with Indian-Americans, A Latino mayor, an African-American businessman and representation from many other cultures. It was one of the most electric moments of the campaign, but the mainstream media failed to cover it.”
He went on to add that his office has always had the best people, irrespective of race. “It will continue whether it is the executive branch or appointing board members like CB (C.B. Yadav) and others that are serving our state very well. It is good for our state boards to be represented by a diverse fraction of people, geographically, economically and otherwise,” he added.
C.B. Yadav is CEO and President of Gope group of companies and a staunch supporter of Kemp.
Kemp said he has various plans to address congestion issues including rapid bus transit, innovative solutions such as expanding inland ports to get truck containers off the interstates through downtown Atlanta and the metro areas, and the potential of hyper loop high speed rail with public private partnership.