At convention, a statewide official jabs at fellow Republican

Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson gave a familiar speech to Georgia GOP delegates assailing inefficient, ineffective government. What was unique about his address, though, was that he was referring not to a Democratic official but to his Republican predecessor.

Without naming names, the newly elector Republican took aim at “siloed” state operations that shuttered offices during the coronavirus pandemic that infuriated both business owners and jobless Georgians seeking unemployment benefits.

It was a reference to Commissioner Mark Butler, who was the frequent target of angry criticism and public protest for his handling of the unprecedented wave of job losses during the Covid-19 outbreak. Thompson won the GOP nod after Butler opted against another term.

“No more can we as elected officials have the privilege or the entitlement to sit on our hands. You should fire us if we aren’t doing our job,” said Thompson, who was a state senator before his election. He then tied his critique to President Joe Biden, drawing applause.

“The White House is the same way. It’s riddled with fraud. It’s riddled with corruption.”

State Sen. Bruce Thompson is the sponsor of Senate Bill 456, which would prevent the woman in Georgia from receiving the abortion pill mifepristone through the mail, speaks during a hearing on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. The bill passes 31-22 and is ready to move to the House of Representatives. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution