Republican Burt Jones wins Georgia lieutenant governor race

Credit: Maya T. Prabhu

Credit: Maya T. Prabhu

FLOVILLA — A Donald Trump-backed Republican state senator from Jackson will be Georgia’s next lieutenant governor.

Burt Jones won the three-way race to replace replace Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who did not seek reelection, defeating Democrat Charlie Bailey and Libertarian candidate Ryan Graham.

“It was a grind and a tough primary and this general election was tough on everybody,” he said. “But at the end of the day I’m excited about winning. And now we’re gonna take a day or two break and then get ready to serve as next lieutenant governor.”

Jones focused his campaign on his desire to eliminate the state income tax and tamp down on crime.

Early in the evening, supporters predicted an early night. The race ended up being closer than expected, and coupled with the potential for the U.S. Senate race heading to a runoff, signaled the political division in the state.

“The state has been trending a little more competitive than it used to be,” he said. “It’s just as another illustration of why we need to do more as a (Republican) Party to try to broaden our tent.”

Jones was a University of Georgia co-captain on the 2002 squad that won the SEC football championship. He is a sixth-generation Jackson native and still lives there with his wife and two children.

Jones works for his family’s fuel company, Jones Petroleum, as well as with JP Capital Insurance, which he founded. He was first elected to the Senate in 2012.

The lieutenant governor serves as president of the Georgia Senate and has a role in assigning senators to the chamber’s committees.

Bailey had made Jones’ role as part of a phony slate of GOP electors designed to help Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia central to his campaign.

In a statement conceding the race, Bailey thanked supporters for fighting back against “attacks on our democracy.”

“Although we came up short, the fight to defend our Democracy must continue. The survival of our nation depends on it,” he said. “Now we must focus all of our efforts on reelecting Sen. Warnock to the U.S. Senate.”