Georgia 2018: Casey Cagle begins his campaign for governor

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in his state Capitol office. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle took an initial step Monday to run for governor by filing paperwork to run for the seat in 2018.

The Republican has plotted for years to run for the state’s highest office, and a formal announcement is expected within a month.

Cagle is the presumptive Republican front-runner in what could be a crowded field to succeed a term-limited Nathan Deal. Secretary of State Brian Kemp is already in the race, and a cast of current and former lawmakers – along with an “outsider” or two – are considering entering the contest.

Democrats are gearing up for a chance to flip the seat for the first time since 2002. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is seen as a lock to join the race and others, including state Rep. Stacey Evans and former state Sen. Jason Carter, are exploring a run.

A Gainesville native, Cagle was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1994 at the age of 28 when he upset a Democratic incumbent. He launched what was considered a long-shot bid in 2006 for lieutenant governor against Ralph Reed, a former Christian Coalition leader with a national profile. His win sidelined Reed’s political career and was the first of Cagle’s three statewide victories.

But he’s had his eye on a governor run for about a decade. He filed paperwork in 2008 to launch a bid for the job in 2010 and he raised more than $1.4 million for his campaign. He dropped out in April 2009, citing problems with his back.

This time around, he and his supporters have indicated there’s no turning back.

He’s traveled the state in the runup to this year’s legislative session, collecting IOUs, hiring staff and lining up commitments. He wrote a book about education policy that published last year, and he’s tried to smooth ties with powerful business groups about a “religious liberty” proposal that he initially supported. And he’s raised more than $500,000 in his lieutenant governor’s account since winning another term, even though most of the Capitol donors knew he planned a gubernatorial run.

His campaign is to be chaired by Charles Tarbutton, a Sandersville rail executive whose family has ties to Deal, Zell Miller and other successful gubernatorial candidates stretching back the last half-century. It’s a sign that Cagle’s bid has early support from one of the most well-connected political networks in the state.

More: Georgia governor race: Who could be running in 2018

Reader Comments 2

28 comments
Michael Sean Robinson
Michael Sean Robinson

HELL NO He's against gambling expansion he is truly bad for business and Georgia will suffer under him.

Ellie Gratz
Ellie Gratz

That's just someone's opinion and has nothing to do with reality.

Cyn Sneed
Cyn Sneed

We sure as hell don't need this idiot. For God's sake Georgia vote BLUE.

Matt Peacock
Matt Peacock

I prefer educated Governors. Not saying education is critical, but it helps when you're the most powerful person in the state.

Lee VonderHaar
Lee VonderHaar

Education is meaningless. Intelligence is what makes the difference

Matt Peacock
Matt Peacock

Circa 2007 I was attending a Capital event and he wasn't there. He was allegedly caught in a prostitution sting. Is that intelligent? Also name another recent governor without an education.

Lee Duke
Lee Duke

Sorry to hear this! He has been a disappointment in so many ways...

Veda Ruiz Jr
Veda Ruiz Jr

I hope his back injury is okay. Wasn't that the reason for dropping out a few years ago?

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

He is a crooked POS like all conservaturds.

Mary Reynoso
Mary Reynoso

Please don't vote this guy in we have enough problems in Georgia

Brenda Addison
Brenda Addison

The so-called democratic party committed suicide when JFK was ASSINATED . BS walks . Money talks .

Patricia Baker Charles
Patricia Baker Charles

He was sensored by his on party once so why would anyone want to see him become governor?.

Linda Parker
Linda Parker

By who?? you guys??? Not in my circles he's not \U0001f499\U0001f4aa\U0001f3fc\U0001f499\U0001f4aa\U0001f3fc

Mike Steele
Mike Steele

The lying republicans were democrats. Elect those who support limited government. Period!

Becky Martin Gaunt
Becky Martin Gaunt

Please no. This man smirked at crying families when he killed the original medical cannabis bill in 2014. Our senate is a nightmare with him at the helm. I don't care what party you affiliate with, please not him.

Ed Helton
Ed Helton

Yup, they all begin to crawl out from under their rocks.

Kip Hart
Kip Hart

Please, spare our state the tragedy of this.......

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  1. […] Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle filed paperwork with the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission to run for Governor in 2018. […]

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  2. […] to the Republican field for governor, which currently includes Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. These include the circle around the current governor, Nathan Deal; the Republicans in the […]

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