A Democratic state lawmaker and military veteran is joining the race for lieutenant governor in the latest sign of heated competition up and down Georgia’s 2022 ballot.
State Rep. Derrick Jackson said he’ll focus his campaign on his more than two decades of service in the U.S. Navy and his three terms representing a Fayette-based district in the Legislature.
“I cannot sit on the sidelines to watch a democracy I put my life on the line to protect is being tarnished,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I can’t ask others to run for higher office when I know the calling all my life has positioned me for this moment.”
Jackson, who plans to formally announce his candidacy at a Wednesday press conference, is the latest in a wave of Democrats eager to run for statewide posts that once attracted little competition.
State Rep. Erick Allen jumped in the race for Georgia’s No. 2 job in late March, and other prominent Democrats are said to be considering a run.
The Republican race is wide-open, too. After the AJC reported that Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan wasn’t planning on seeking a second term, a number of Republicans signaled they could run for the seat.
Among the possible GOP contenders are state Sens. Matt Brass, Steve Gooch, Burt Jones and Butch Miller. And Republican activist Jeanne Seaver of Savannah has already announced her campaign.
Jackson said he’d highlight plans to push for expanded mental health programs and broaden the safety net to provide new services for those with disabilities. And he said he would fight controversial GOP measures such as the far-reaching election rewrite.
“Georgia can do so much better,” he said. “If we don’t turn this around and stop passing unnecessary legislation, we’ll ruin our state’s business reputation.”