Casey Cagle

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Casey Cagle
Day 40 Rostrum.jpg
11th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
In office
January 8, 2007 – January 14, 2019
GovernorSonny Perdue
Nathan Deal
Preceded byMark Taylor
Succeeded byGeoff Duncan
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 49th district
In office
January 9, 1995[1] – January 8, 2007
Preceded byJane Hemmer
Succeeded byLee Hawkins
Personal details
Lowell Stacy Cagle

(1966-01-12) January 12, 1966 (age 53)
Gainesville, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Nita Cagle
EducationGainesville State College
Georgia Southern University Brenau University
WebsiteCampaign website

Lowell Stacy "Casey" Cagle[2][3] (born January 12, 1966) is an American politician and businessman, who served as the 11th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia from 2007 to 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party.

He was a member of the Georgia General Assembly from 1996 to 2007. He assumed the position of Lieutenant Governor of Georgia in 2007, becoming the first Republican to hold the office. He was a candidate in the Republican primary in the 2018 gubernatorial election for Governor of Georgia.[4]

Early life[edit]

Cagle was born Lowell S. Casey Cagle in Gainesville, Georgia, and raised by his single mother. He is a seventh generation resident of Hall County, Georgia. According to his legislative biography, he "attended eight different elementary schools by age six, but persevered to graduate from Hall County's public schools."[5] After graduating from Johnson High School, Cagle attended Georgia Southern University to play football for legendary coach Erk Russell. After an injury ended his dreams of playing college football, Cagle returned home at age 20, and opened a small business.[6]

Business career[edit]

After returning to Gainesville in 1986, Cagle started what would turn into a successful tuxedo rental company. He expanded the retail business into multiple locations throughout North Georgia. He founded Southern Heritage Bank in 1999 and served as its chairman until it merged into Gainesville Bank & Trust in 2004, and later SunTrust Banks in 2008.[6] Cagle joined the board of directors of GB&T in 2005.

Georgia Senate (1995–2006)[edit]

In 1994, at age 28, Cagle ran for the Georgia Senate in Senate District 49 that included Hall County and parts of Dawson County and Forsyth County. He upset the Democratic incumbent, Jane Hemmer, and became the youngest member of the State Senate. He was re-elected five times and served from 1995 to 2006. During this time, Cagle served as Chairman of the State Senate Finance Committee, Vice Chairman of Science and Technology Committee, and as a member of the Natural Resources and the Environment Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee.

Lieutenant Governor (2007–2019)[edit]

2006 campaign[edit]

In early 2005, Cagle declared his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. He was opposed in the Republican primary by nationally known Christian conservative activist Ralph Reed. Initially considered the underdog, Cagle emerged as a serious challenger to Reed. Reed accused Cagle of negative campaigning, blaming Cagle for unfavorable media attention arising from the federal investigation into the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.[7] On July 18, 2006, Cagle defeated Reed in the Republican Party primary with Cagle taking 56% of the vote to Reed's 44%.[8] He then went on to successfully face former state representative Jim Martin in the general election and won with 54.1% to Martin's 42.3%.[9]

2010 campaign[edit]

Cagle initially ran for the Governor seat but on April 15, 2009, withdrew from the governor's race, citing a degenerative spinal condition and unspecified nerve and bone problems that required surgical treatment.[10] He ran for and won re-election as lieutenant governor instead.

2014 campaign[edit]

Georgia's lieutenant governor office does not have the same two-term limit as the governorship, so Cagle ran for and won a third term as lieutenant governor in 2014. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated Former State Senator and DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes in the general election.


During Cagle's service as lieutenant governor, the Republican majority, in order to avoid a possible windfall derived from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, approved, under the five-year plan, a reduction of the top income tax rate for individuals and businesses (from 6 percent to 5.75 percent in 2019 and down to 5.50 percent in 2020) and the doubling of the standard deduction for both individual and joint filers. This was the largest income tax rate cut in state history.[11]

2018 campaign for governor[edit]

On April 30, 2017, Cagle formally announced his candidacy for governor in 2018.[12] Cagle out-fund-raised his opponents by a large margin, attracting nearly $7 million in campaign contributions.[13]

Cagle was endorsed by the NRA,[14] Marietta Daily Journal,[15] Cherokee Tribune,[16] Rome News-Tribune,[17] Waycross Journal Herald, Educators First,[18] and he has earned the support of the Georgia Realtors.[19] He has also been endorsed by over 100 police Sheriffs across the state.[20][third-party source needed][POV? ] Cagle and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp advanced to a runoff on July 24 since neither received 50% of the vote in the May 22 primary. By July 2018, Cagle had raised more than twice as much as Kemp.[21] In the primary, Cagle was endorsed by incumbent Governor Nathan Deal, with Deal saying he thought "very highly" of both candidates, but that he favored Cagle. The endorsement was described a significant factor in the primary as Deal is widely viewed as the most popular Republican in Georgia.[22]

During the campaign, Cagle sought to appeal to the far-right edge of the Republican Party, portrayed himself as ardently pro-President Donald Trump, and mimicked Trump's imagery and rhetoric.[23][21] Cagle attacked the media as being "fake news".[23] Cagle sought to portray his primary opponent Kemp as an incompetent secretary of state, whereas Kemp sought to portray Cagle as scandal-prone and corrupt.[24] On July 18, Trump tweeted his support for Kemp, saying, "I give him my full and total endorsement." Many observers believe the surprise endorsement was the lynch pin for Kemp's late surge.[according to whom?] It was later confirmed by the President that he endorsed at the behest of former Georgia governor and current Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in retaliation to Governor Nathan Deal's endorsement of Cagle.[25][26]

Despite placing first in the May primary, Cagle lost the runoff to Kemp, 69%–30%, on July 24, 2018. [4]


Delta Air Lines controversy[edit]

On February 26, 2018, while Lieutenant Governor, Cagle threatened to block legislation that benefited Delta Air Lines after the company ended their discount for National Rifle Association members in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which led to the death of seventeen students in Parkland, Florida.[27] Cagle tweeted, "I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back."[28][29] Shortly afterwards, Cagle and the Georgia General Assembly revoked a jet fuel tax break from the 2018 Tax Reform Bill that would have benefitted Delta and other airliners.[30] Constitutional law professors Michael J. Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina, Kathleen Burch of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, and Gregory P. Magarian of Washington University in St. Louis all argued that Cagle's response to Delta Air Lines' decision violated the company's right to free speech under the First Amendment.[31] Since Cagle's stance, the NRA has publicly endorsed his campaign for governor.[32]

Discounted apartment purchase from lobbyist[edit]

A New York Times investigation in June 2018 found that Cagle had purchased a one-bedroom apartment in 2008 from natural gas lobbyist Terry E. Hobbs at a discounted price. He bought the apartment for $97,000, which was 24% lower than its appraised value of $127,800, before later selling it in 2017 at a 29 percent profit. When comparing Cagle's purchase with other purchases at the same building, the Times found that "Mr. Cagle paid less per square foot than other buyers — $95.57 versus an average of $139.60 for the four other qualified sales between 2007 and 2009", which suggests it was purchased even further below market value. Furthermore, Cagle's purchase was labeled by the board as "unqualified" for appraisal purposes. This designation is given when "factors other than market value" sway pricing. In contrast to the low purchase price, Cagle valued the same property in his 2009 and 2013 disclosures at $175,000, which was significantly higher than the board's appraisal price.[33]

Support for "bad public policy"[edit]

In June 2018, a secret recording of a conversation was released by Clay Tippins, who finished fourth in the 2018 Georgia Republican Gubernatorial Primary,[34] where Cagle described how he supported "bad public policy" in an attempt to undermine Hunter Hill's run for governor.[35][36][37] Cagle explained how he changed his position on Georgia House Bill 217 in order to prevent Hill from receiving financial support from a Super-PAC. House Bill 217, which was sponsored by school choice activists, increased the cap on tax credits for private school scholarships from $65 million to $100 million, something that Cagle personally considered bad "a thousand different ways".[35] Cagle admitted he backed the bill "'because this is not about policy, this is about politics.'" His campaign felt that, if Hill received the donation from the school-choice group, he would pose a significant threat to Cagle's gubernatorial ambitions.[36] The chairman of the Super-PAC in question, the Walton Education Coalition, said that the rumors regarding the potential donation to Hill were "unfounded".[38][39] Asked if he had any regrets, Cagle said his only regret was trusting Tippins.[24]

Two Georgia state legislators, Bill Heath (R-31) and Susan Holmes (R-129) have authored a letter urging local and federal prosecutors to open an investigation into "compelling evidence of a direct quid pro quo offered by Cagle to trade legislative action for campaign funding."[40]

Second secret recording[edit]

A 50-second excerpt from the Tippins recording was released by Brian Kemp's campaign in the weeks leading up to the gubernatorial runoff where Cagle discloses his thoughts about the Republican Primary.[41] After discussing policy issues with Tippins, his former political opponent, Cagle states that "the problem is in a primary — and you and I are just talking off-the-record frank — they don't give a shit about those things. OK. In the general election, they care about it. OK. But they don't care about it in a primary. This primary felt like it was who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest."[42] His political adversaries were quick to label Cagle a corrupt, calculating politician following the leak of the conversation, and accused him of patronizing his Republican constituents. In an official statement to the press, however, his campaign maintained that the comments were specifically directed at Kemp, who had released two contentious ads during the primary. Cagle later stated that the recording was never meant to be made public.[43]

Third secret recording[edit]

Another secret recording of Cagle showed him talking to Clay Tippins about Tippins' campaign debts. Tippins claims that Cagle was offering to use his campaign donors to pay Clay Tippins' campaign debt in return for his official endorsement in the gubernatorial runoff. After mentioning the $300,000 debt he had incurred during his campaign in a private meeting, Cagle replied "the way you get your debts retired is, who has the resources to call up enough people...What I do know is that we've got a lot of people who are solidly behind us. And you know, they want to help- they want to help the cause."[44] Cagle dismissed the accusations, calling his former opponent as a political has-been.

Travel expenditures[edit]

An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that Cagle had spent approximately $265,000 of taxpayer funds on air travel from January 2010 to June 2018.[45][46] Some of the taxpayer-funded flights were to cities where he raised money for his gubernatorial campaign.[45] When using air travel for state business, Cagle on more than 100 occasions added extra legs to trips by picking him up or dropping him off in Gainesville, where he lives.[45] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that Cagle had previously sought to portray himself as a fiscal conservative.[45]

Personal life[edit]

Cagle is married to his high school sweetheart Nita, and they are the parents of three sons, Jared, Grant, and Carter, and are now grandparents to three grandchildren: Everett Grace, Levi Mick, and Wimberly Sullivan.[47] The Cagles live in Chestnut Mountain, Georgia, where they are members of Christ Place Church.[6]

Electoral history[edit]

State Senator Primary Election Results

Year Election Republican Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1996 Primary Casey Cagle 10,294 100% (no candidate) 0 0%
1998 Primary Casey Cagle 9,904 100% (no candidate) 0 0%
2000 Primary Casey Cagle 15,791 80% Julian Bowen 3,937 20%
2002 Primary Casey Cagle 15,160 100% (no candidate) 0 0%
2004 Primary Casey Cagle 14,874 100% (no candidate) 0 0%

State Senator General Election Results

Year Election Republican Votes Pct Democrat Votes Pct
1996 General Casey Cagle 34,093 100% (no candidate) 0 0%
1998 General Casey Cagle 22,951 67% Andy Maddox 11,240 33%
2000 General Casey Cagle 34,424 67% Bob Vass 16,971 33%
2002 General Casey Cagle 32,645 80% Susie Simmons 8,135 20%
2004 General Casey Cagle 45,282 100% (no candidate) 0 0%

Lieutenant Governor Primary Election Results

Lieutenant Governor Primary Election Results
Year Election Republican Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2006 Primary Casey Cagle 227,968 56% Ralph Reed 178,790 44%
2010 Primary Casey Cagle 525,287 100% (no candidate) 0 0%
Lieutenant Governor General Election Results
Year Election Republican Votes Pct Democrat Votes Pct Libertarian Votes Pct
2006 General Casey Cagle 1,134,517 54.1% Jim Martin 887,506 42.3% Allen Buckley 75,673 3.6%
2010 General Casey Cagle 1,403,977 54.7% Carol Porter 1,074,624 41.9% Dan Barber 88,746 3.5%


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Ambitious' Cagle goes toe-to-toe with Reed". Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "Casey Cagle is the not-so-new 'Stacy'".
  4. ^ a b "Georgia runoffs: Republicans pick Trump-endorsed secretary of state for governor". Washington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "Senator Casey Cagle" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c " – Biography". Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. November 7, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "(unavailable)". Time. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "Lieutenant Governor". Georgia Secretary of State. July 18, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  9. ^ "11/7/2006 – Lieutenant Governor". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  10. ^ Jim Galloway (April 15, 2009). "Casey Cagle's statement of withdrawal from governor's race: 'I've been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition' | Political Insider". Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  11. ^ "Georgia Leaders Reach Deal". AJC. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Curt Yeomans (April 30, 2017). "Casey Cagle launches campaign for governor in Gwinnett". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  13. ^ Dave Williams (January 16, 2018). "Cagle raises nearly $7 million in gubernatorial bid". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  14. ^ NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | NRA Endorses Cagle for Governor Shafer for Lt. Governor". NRA-ILA. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "MDJ ENDORSEMENT: Casey Cagle for governor". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "TRIBUNE ENDORSEMENT: Casey Cagle for governor". Cherokee Tribune Ledger News. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Casey Cagle will continue to drive Georgia prosperity". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "Georgia Votes 2018: Educators First endorses Cagle for governor". WXIA. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Georgia realtors group again backs Cagle – one hefty fine later". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Cagle: 103 Sheriffs Endorse Cagle as "go-to-guy" for law enforcement". Casey Cagle. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Cagle recording, Kemp donations fuel Georgia GOP candidates' debate". politics.myajc. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  22. ^ "Deal looms large over race to replace him as Georgia's governor". AJC. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "With Trump in the White House, candidates who sound like him hit the campaign trail". Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "'My enemy is not a man': Ex-gubernatorial candidate has 'mission' to damage Cagle". mcclatchydc. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  25. ^ "Georgia Election: Trump's Endorsement of Brian Kemp over Casey Cagle". CBS News. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Donald Trump on Brian Kemp pick: 'I did that for Sonny Perdue'".
  27. ^ Nicole Rojas (February 27, 2018). "Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Threatens Delta's Tax Breaks After Airline Cuts Ties With the NRA". Newsweek. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  28. ^ "Georgia Lt. Governor Threatens to Block Tax Cut for Delta Over NRA Split". Time. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  29. ^ "Casey Cagle on Twitter".
  30. ^ "Georgia Lawmakers Punish Delta Air Lines Over NRA Feud". Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  31. ^ "Cagle said he'd kill bill that benefits Delta. Is it legal?". PolitiFact Georgia. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  32. ^ NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | NRA Endorses Cagle for Governor Shafer for Lt. Governor". NRA-ILA. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  33. ^ Sack, Kevin. "Candidate for Georgia Governor Bought Condo From Lobbyist". New York Times.
  34. ^ "Torpy at Large: Why Clay 'The Mole' Tippins went commando against Cagle". AJC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Secret recording shows Cagle backed 'bad' bill to hurt gov race rival". ajc. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Read transcript of secret recording of Cagle backing 'bad public policy'". politics.myajc. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  37. ^ Kilgore, Ed. "Georgia GOP Lieutenant Governor Caught on Tape Insisting He's a Political Hack". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  38. ^ Galloway, Jim. "Two Tales of Betrayal". AJC. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  39. ^ "Tippins Reveals Story". MDJ. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  40. ^ "Cagle critics call for criminal probe into support for 'bad' policy". politics.myajc. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  41. ^ "Secret tape recordings rock Georgia governor race". NBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  42. ^ "Second secret recording of Casey Cagle released". Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  43. ^ Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (July 9, 2018). "Georgia Republican governor candidate says primary was race for 'who could be the craziest'". Fox News. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  44. ^ Drpic, Giovanna. "Another potentially damaging tape in GOP runoff". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  45. ^ a b c d "Cagle a frequent flyer at taxpayers' expense". politics.myajc. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  46. ^ "GOP gubernatorial rivals trade jabs at debate before runoff". ajc. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  47. ^ "Biography". Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. Retrieved May 7, 2018.

External links[edit]

Georgia State Senate
Preceded by
Jane Hemmer
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 49th district

Succeeded by
Lee Hawkins
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Taylor
Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Geoff Duncan