- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2020

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s chief of staff is leaving to work for a political action committee supporting U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in her special election bid.

Georgia United Victory announced Thursday that Tim Fleming would begin working as a senior strategist on Oct. 1.

“He knows a thing or two about beating socialists like Stacey Abrams and Ralph Warnock!” the PAC tweeted.

The Republican Kemp said Fleming’s last day as chief of staff would be Sept. 30. He shifts to a Kemp-linked PAC trying to boost Kemp’s choice for Senate, who faces a multiparty special election in which Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Democrat Raphael Warnock are also running. Georgia United Victory - the abbreviation GUV is by design - has spent at least $4 million on Loeffler’s behalf since it was created in July, although full details are not yet available.

“Tim has served my administrations for more than a decade,” Kemp said in a statement. “I am grateful for his service and hard work, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Caylee Noggle, whom Kemp named earlier this year as the state’s chief management officer, will become the interim chief of staff. Noggle will be the first woman to serve as a Georgia governor’s chief of staff, Kemp said. She earlier was president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which oversees the spending of lottery proceeds. Noggle earlier worked in the Office of Planning and Budget, which writes the state’s budget for the governor.

Fleming has been at Kemp’s side since the former contractor was elected to state Senate in 2002. He later worked as campaign manager in Kemp’s unsuccessful bid for state agriculture commissioner and then in his successful run for secretary of state. Fleming was Kemp’s campaign manager when he ran for governor in 2018 after working as a top aide in the secretary of state’s office.

Fleming won a term as a Newton County commissioner in 2008, following his father, who also served on that county’s board.

Fleming came under fire in March when he posted criticism of local officials’ reaction to COVID-19, writing that governments were “overreacting” and that as a result “many small businesses will struggle and some will not reopen.”


Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

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