Voting oversight job up to voters

Georgia's secretary of state race features an incumbent with nine months on the job challenged by a longtime Democratic lawmaker and a Libertarian activist.


Republican Brian Kemp, state Rep. Georganna Sinkfield and businessman David Chastain will face off next month to become the state's top election official, a post that's also responsible for monitoring businesses and overseeing professional licensing.

Kemp said his work to cut $2.9 million from the office budget and to create more online access for department services demonstrates his successes since he was appointed to the post in January.

He would like to continue that effort, from putting more license applications online to outsourcing state exams so that would-be professionals can take the tests in their area or online.

He also claims victory in getting the U.S. Justice Department to sign off in August on the state's verification of voters' citizenship and identity. Kemp's office had sued the federal government for rejecting the system earlier.

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Brian Kemp

Republican incumbent

Age: 46

Education: Bachelor of science in agriculture, University of Georgia

Profession: Secretary of state since January; owns Kemp Properties, private business specializing in real estate investments and property management.

Political experience: Served in Georgia Senate, 2003-06; lost 2006 GOP primary for state agriculture commissioner.

Civic experience: Member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens

Family status: Wife, Marty; three daughters

Georganna Sinkfield

Democratic challenger

Age: 67

Education: Bachelor's degree, biology, Tennessee State University; attended Emory University School of Law

Profession: State representative, Georgia House of Representatives, since 1982; real estate services

Political experience: State representative for 28 years; chairwoman of Committee on Children and Youth for 14 years; chairwoman, House subcommittee of appropriations on human development; now serves on Children and Youth, Insurance and Banks and Banking committees; was the first female president of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.

Civic experience: Served on the Education Review Commission, which laid the groundwork for the Quality Basic Education Act, the State Chapter 2 Advisory Committee, and the State Task Force on Homelessness; served on the State Task Force Turning Points, Preparing Our Youth for the 21st Century, and Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education; awarded the Drum Major for Justice Award and legislative awards from AARP, GCAPP and others.

Family status: Husband, Richard; two children and five grandchildren


Libertarian challenger

Age: 53

Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration with major in real estate and urban economics, University of Georgia

Profession: Logistics management analyst with defense contractor

Political experience: Served on facilities and technology committee of Cobb County school district; ran as Libertarian candidate for state school superintendent in 2006; issue activism in Cobb in 2003.

Civic experience: Member, First Baptist Church of Marietta; served in Libertarian Party of Cobb, former chair and secretary. Executive director of state party in 2007 and served on executive committee.

Family status: Wife, Lori; three children



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