Kemp staffs up PAC with eye toward boosting national profile

The Georgia governor has hired national fundraisers for his new political group.

Brian Kemp waves as he delivers the State of the State address.

The Republican governor who crushed Donald Trump’s efforts to defeat him is now taking a big step to boost his national profile ahead of 2024.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is expanding his political operation, tapping Jenny Drucker and Alex Lawhon to serve as national fundraisers for his newly formed political action committee, Hardworking Americans. The group, which launched last fall following Kemp’s reelection win, will serve as a platform for the governor to engage in political activities including campaigning for and supporting other Republican candidates.

As part of the expansion, the PAC has also launched a new website, which includes a slick video of Kemp speaking at his inauguration last month — the capstone of an intense year of campaigning that saw him brush back Republican and Democratic attempts to defeat him.

Kemp’s 2022 reelection in highly competitive Georgia vaulted him to new prominence within his party and generated speculation about his future ambitions. Kemp first notched a landslide GOP primary victory last year over former Sen. David Perdue, who won the backing of former President Donald Trump after Trump had relentlessly attacked Kemp for not overturning his loss in Georgia in 2020.

Kemp then comfortably defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams in the general election to win a second term as governor of perhaps the most tightly divided swing state in the nation.

After the election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tapped Kemp to help Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the December runoff. Kemp loaned his get-out-the-vote operation to Senate Leadership Fund, the McConnell-aligned super PAC, and appeared in ads bolstering Walker, who ultimately lost to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

While Kemp has received less attention than some other Republicans as a prospective 2024 presidential candidate, he appears intent on staying in the national mix. Some in the party mention the 59-year-old governor as a potential contender for the vice presidential slot; he could also conceivably run for office again in a future year, including the Senate in 2026, when Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff will be up for reelection.

The governor is set to venture outside of Georgia later this month, when he will appear at a donor conference in Austin, Texas organized by Republican strategist Karl Rove. Aside from Kemp, the speaker list includes several prospective 2024 presidential contenders, including former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. A group of major GOP donors is co-hosting the event, including real estate developer Harlan Crow, beer distributor John Nau and oil and gas investor Trevor Rees-Jones.

Drucker and Lawhon are veteran GOP fundraisers. Drucker most recently served as finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Lawhon has worked for, among others, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Cody Hall, the executive director for Hardworking Americans, said in a statement that the PAC would “support candidates who have a backbone, who are principled conservatives, and who put the hardworking men and women of this country first.”