Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp promised in Dalton Saturday to be "a governor that's going to be working for our whole state, all four corners and everywhere in between."

Kemp spoke to supporters at the Dalton Golf & Country Club, part of a tour of the state before he is sworn in Monday.

Northwest Georgia strongly backed Kemp in the November 2018 general election.

"It was very important for us and for me personally to come to northwest Georgia," he said to a crowd that packed the banquet room at the country club.

Whitfield County gave Kemp, the Republican candidate, 72.3 percent of the vote over Democrat Stacey Abrams in November, and all of the counties bordering Whitfield gave him three quarters of the vote or more.

"We know how hard you worked for us, and we thank you for your support," he said.

"We are not going to forget northwest Georgia," he promised.

"We've just been working hard all week on our thank-you tour," Kemp told reporters before speaking to supporters. "We've had just a great response from people."

Nancy Burton came from Lookout Mountain to meet Kemp.

"I campaigned for him, a lot," she said. "I knocked on doors, made phone calls, anything I could do. He's going to make a great governor and I'm excited to get the chance to hear from him again."

Whitfield County Republican Party Chair Dianne Putnam says she wasn't surprised to see so many people come out to see Kemp.

"This is a very friendly area for him. He had lots of support during the campaign, lots of hard workers and many of them are here today to celebrate his victory again with him and encourage him as he prepares to be sworn in," she said.

Joe Yarbrough, president of the Carpet and Rug Institute, was on hand to present Kemp with a rug bearing Kemp's name.

"The governor-elect recognizes the carpet industry and the economic vitality here in northwest Georgia," said Yarbrough. "I believe we will have an ear in the governor's office. He has certainly made economic development a key part of his platform. He's also interested in developing rural Georgia and a large portion of our area is rural. I'm very optimistic that Gov.-elect Kemp is going to see us as an important part of our state."

State Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, was one of a number of elected officials on hand to greet Kemp.

"State policy just can't be focused on Atlanta," Payne said. "And I think he realizes that. Northwest Georgia is going to have a place at the table, and so will northeast Georgia and every other part of the state."

Payne said he is "excited" for Kemp to be sworn in and for the Legislature to begin its session Monday.

"We've not only got a new governor, we've got a a new lieutenant governor," he said. "It really is a new beginning, and I'm looking forward to seeing where they want to lead us."

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