GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp declined to comment specifically on a lawsuit which claims he, and an agriculture company he invested in, failed to repay a half-million dollar loan, but he said that company is working to resolve its debts.
The lawsuit was filed by RLP Investments and its owner Rick Phillips and names Kemp and Hart AgStrong among others.
Phillips claims Kemp came to his office and personally asked for the $500,000 loan on behalf of Hart AgStrong. Kemp wanted the loan to purchase raw canola seeds.
“I loaned this money to Brian Kemp,” Phillips said. “I loaned it to Hart AgStrong at the request of Brian Kemp, and he personally guaranteed it.”
Phillips produced a document showing Kemp signed a personal guaranty agreement for the loan.
Kemp spoke briefly about the lawsuit Wednesday.
“I am involved in a lawsuit,” Kemp said. “I made an investment in Hart AgStrong. That’s well known. That’s old news.”
Kemp stressed he was just one of a number of investors in the company.
“The company is working hard to try and resolve their debts, and hopefully they’ll be able to pay those back, and also pay myself back the money I’m owed,” Kemp said.
Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, is in the GOP runoff with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. His campaign accused Phillips of being one of Cagle’s top donors. Phillips admitted to supporting Cagle in that runoff election.
The lawsuit is in Gwinnett County Superior Court. The next hearing on it is scheduled for July 25, a day after the runoff election.
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