Editor’s Note: This story is part of our Running Women project following 15 compelling women candidates in 2018.
As the Republican runoff for Georgia governor turned increasingly nasty, Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico sought to take the high road, pledging to be a better leader for Georgia — one who puts the people ahead of politics — should she become the next lieutenant governor.
Riggs Amico hopes to replace Casey Cagle, who is running for governor this year. Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are now headed to a runoff election to decide who will face Stacey Abrams for governor. The runoff was set for July 24, after neither prevailed in the GOP primary election on May 22.
Both men have largely focused on attacking each other, delighting Democrats and opening up an opportunity for Riggs Amico to position herself as above the fray.
Cagle came under fire when a former GOP rival gave reporters a recording of Cagle admitting he voted for a bill that was “bad in a thousand different ways” in an effort to keep funding from another primary opponent. Then on Monday, the Kemp campaign released another segment of the recorded conversation. In it Cagle can be heard saying the “primary felt like it was who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest.”
Seizing on the Republican infighting, Riggs Amico denounced Cagle for choosing to “go along” with the unsavory politics he decried, rather than being a leader. “Leaders stand up for what they believe, even when it’s not popular, even to their friends,” she said in a tweet. “Lowest common denominator pandering won’t brighten Georgia’s future.”
Riggs Amico has promised to govern differently than Cagle. She aims to build a more efficient government that restores civility and forges bipartisan relationships.
“The values that bind us together … have eroded as our leaders spend most of their time fighting each other rather than getting things done,” she says on her campaign website. “It’s time to put people over party,” and do away with hyper-partisan politics.