Brian Kemp is running for governor of Georgia against Stacey Abrams in a race that has garnered national attention. Donald Trump has backed Kemp, tweeting that Kemp will make a “great governor” because of his policies on issues like gun control and immigration. Vice President Pence has also campaigned for Kemp. In the Republican primary, Kemp, who is Georgia’s secretary of state, defeated Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.
Brian Kemp grew up in Athens, Georgia, where he still lives. He and his wife, Marty, attended the same high school and the same college; they have been married for 24 years and have three teenage daughters.
Here’s what you need to know about Marty Kemp, Brian Kemp’s wife and their family:
1. Marty and Brian Both Come from Athens, Georgia. They Went to the Same High School, And Both Went on to the University of Georgia, Where Marty Was a Cheerleader
Before that, both Brian and Marty went to Athens Academy, a prep school for grades K-12. Their daughter Amy Porter is a student there now, and a write-up of one of Amy’s basketball games mentions that her parents both attended the school.
2. Marty and Brian Have Three Teenage Daughters. One of Brian’s Campaign Ads Says, “Try to Date My Daughter And I’ll Shoot You With a Shotgun
Marty and Brian have three daughters: Jarrett, Lucy,and Amy Porter. Jarrett graduated from high school last year. Lucy, the middle child, is now 18 years old. As a child, she loved horseback riding and showed sheep at 4H. Amy Porter is their youngest daughter. Brian recently tweeted a picture of some of Amy’s classmates, grinning and wearing Kemp for Governor shirts.
In a recent campaign ad, Brian plays the role of protective father. Brian sits in a chair holding a rifle, saying, “This is Jake, a young man interested in one of my daughters.” Brian and Jake run through a few of Brian’s policy points (cap government spending; “take a chainsaw” to regulations). Then Kemp says, “and two things, if you’re going to date one of my daughters?” Jake replies, “respect…and a healthy appreciation for the second amendment, sir.” “We’re going to get along just fine,” says Kemp.
3. Marty’s Father, Bob Argo, Was A “Good Ol’ Southern Democrat” Who Served in the Georgia State Assembly For Nine Years
Marty Kemp is a politician’s daughter, as well as a politician’s wife. Her father was Bob Argo, a well-respected, even legendary figure in local politics in Athens, Georgia. Argo represented Athens in the Georgia State Assembly from 1977 to 1986. By all accounts, he was an old fashioned Southern politician who cared deeply about his state and especially about the University of Georgia.
Brian Kemp once described his father in law affectionately as a “good ol’ Southern democrat,” adding that Argo knew how to get things done in state politics, “in a way that gained a lot of respect from his friends, his community, and the people he was working with.” Kemp said that Argo was a little shaken when his son in law first ran for office as a Republican, since Argo himself was a Democrat. But the two men soon got past their party difference.
Johnny Isakson, a US senator who knew Argo when both men were serving in the Georgia House of Representatives, once said, “Bob was a great representative of the people. He didn’t have a partisan bone in his body. He was Georgia Bulldog, all the time. He was all Georgian, all the time. He was just a great individual to be around.”
4. Marty Has Been Campaigning Tirelessly For Her Husband
Marty’s Facebook page is full of pictures of campaign signs and shots of herself and her daughters dressed in Kemp for Governor gear. She’s also working to sell some of that gear over Facebook.
Marty also campaigns actively on behalf of her husband. Not only does she appear at his side at certain events, she also travels across Georgia and speaks at rallies for Brian.
5. Marty and Brian Are Both Members of the Episcopal Church
Marty and Brian are both long-time members of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens. In an early campaign ad, Brian says, “most of the life that I can remember was growing up in the local church.”
The Emmanuel Episcopal Church has been in Athens for 170 years. The church descibes itself as “eclectic” and “welcoming.” Its website says, “Because we are located in a university town we have an eclectic parish. Some people are third generation Emmanuelites; others have come to the parish within the last year. Some are cradle Episcopalians; others are new to the faith. We have come to Emmanuel from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and we bring to it a wide range of beliefs, talents expectations. There is room for you to come and share yours.”