DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Former U.S. Army Ranger and Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill predicted Wednesday he would defeat Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in a runoff for the state’s highest office.
About 30 people greeted Hill when his “Battle-Tested Leadership Bus Tour” RV pulled in at Smokin’ Gold BBQ on Main Street. Hill took time to greet everyone individually and answer their questions before making a brief speech.
Considered one of Georgia’s most conservative lawmakers during his five years in the state senate Hill said, he decided to run for governor when he realized, “there is so much more we can do to move the conservative agenda forward in Georgia.”
Hill told the crowd that his vision for Georgia included eliminating the state income tax, ending sanctuary cities, limiting the size of government, passing a religious freedom act and empowering parents to have more choice when it comes to the education of their children.
In addition to Hill and Cagle, the other Republicans running for governor are Secretary of State Brian Kemp, State Senator Michael Williams and former Navy SEAL Clay Tippins.
Deal visited Clarkesville Wednesday morning where he said winning the race for governor without a runoff would be mathematically impossible.
Asked to respond, Hill said, “Sixty-five percent of the folks are looking for an alternative to (Cagle). Casey is weak because Casey is a career politician. People are tired of the status quo and career politicians who talk like Ronald Reagan but govern like Barack Obama.”
Should Hill and Cagle meet in a runoff, Hill said, “I want the support of the other candidates in the primary but really I want the support of those who voted for them. In a runoff I believe we could coalesce that support. I believe the educated voters who pick Williams, Tippins or Kemp will naturally gravitate to us and we will win a runoff.”
A graduate of West Point, Hill served three tours on active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq and received two Army Commendation Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.
During the most recent reporting cycle, Cagle had raised about $4 million followed by Kemp with $2.9 million and Hill with $2.7 million.
“I remain convinced that it’s not all about money,” Hill said. “It’s about getting your message out. Our message is a true conservative vision for Georgia. We don’t have to have as much money as the political class, the establishment and the career politicians. We’ve already been outspent 3 to 1 by the other candidates and here we are in a strong second and closing the gap on Cagle.”
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