FACT CHECK: Viral Post Makes Misleading Claims About Brian Kemp, His Debt And Dominion

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, claims Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp was $7 million in debt and implies Dominion Voting Systems paid off his debts.

Verdict: Misleading

There is no evidence that Kemp was $7 million in debt or that Dominion paid off his debts.

Fact Check:

Some Republican donors are looking for an alternative in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, with Kemp being one of the possible alternatives, according to Axios. Kemp is unlikely to jump in the race and is looking at a 2026 Senate run, the outlet reported.

Social media users have been sharing a screenshot from Truth Social from musician Travis Tritt. In the post, Tritt makes a series of claims about Kemp’s debt and his connections with Dominion.

“I have confidential sources in Georgia who’ve told me that Brian Kemp was over $7 million in debt when he was elected as Georgia’s governor in 2018. In 2019, Kemp cut a deal with the state of Georgia to select Dominion Voting Systems to provide its new statewide voting system beginning in 2020. My sources tell me that Kemp has never been in debt since that deal was done. Connect the dots,” Tritt shared on Truth Social.

However, there is no evidence that Kemp was $7 million in debt. There are no credible sources reporting that he was $7 million in debt. Media reports at the time show that Kemp’s net worth was $5.2 million. His net worth increased to over $8 million over the course of his first term as governor, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He owed $800,000 in loans to a bank he helped start, according to Fox 5. He also guaranteed $10 million loans to Hart AgStrong and was sued by Rick Phillips, an investor, who claimed Kemp owed him $500,000 in 2017, before he settled the lawsuit in 2019, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.

Charles Bullock, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia, told Check Your Fact that he did not recall Kemp favoring Dominion. (RELATED: Can Brian Kemp Pardon Trump?)

“I do not recall that Gov. Kemp was active in pushing for Dominion. My recollection is that the debate over which option to choose played out in the legislature among legislators,” Bullock said.

Dominion was chosen to provide voting machines in July 2019, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting. There is no evidence that Kemp had anything to do with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office decision to award the contract to Dominion. A January 2019 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article reported that critics were worried that Kemp’s ties with Election Systems and Software would tip the balance toward the company.

“It’s cronyism at its worst to push for a less fiscally responsible option to benefit these companies that aren’t best for local communities,” Dan Savickas of the conservative group FreedomWorks said at the time.

A Dominion spokesperson denied that Kemp had a financial relationship with the company.

“Any claims about a business or financial relationship between Dominion Voting Systems and Governor Kemp are completely false. Dominion proudly became Georgia’s election technology provider after winning a fair and transparent bidding process,” the spokesperson said.

Check Your Fact reached out to Kemp’s office and Tritt for comment.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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