Republican Burt Jones officially launches lieutenant governor campaign

State Sen. Burt Jones has officially launched his campaign for lieutenant governor.

State Sen. Burt Jones has officially launched his campaign for lieutenant governor.

Days after filing paperwork to run for lieutenant governor, state senator and oil executive Burt Jones officially launched his campaign Tuesday.

Jones, a Jackson Republican, said in a statement that Georgians need a “proven business leader, consistent conservative and champion for Georgia families.”

“I look forward to sharing my conservative vision with folks all across the state as we build a statewide grassroots movement and secure a strong win for the people of Georgia as their next lieutenant governor,” Jones said.

The official rollout came days after Jones filed paperwork with the state declaring his intent to run for lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said this spring that he will not a seek a second term. For months Jones has hinted at launching his campaign, after first considering runs for the U.S. Senate or to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican primary.

Jones, who has spent the past nine months questioning the results of Georgia’s presidential election in which his candidate, Donald Trump, lost but spouted conspiracy theories that the election was stolen, teased the announcement on Twitter on Monday by posting a video in which the former president thanks Jones “for everything (he’s) been doing.”

Though Trump hasn’t formally endorsed Jones, he earlier this summer ruled out supporting state Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller, a Republican also running for lieutenant governor. Trump called on “strong and effective” challengers to enter the Republican primary.

Miller has leaned on his close ties to the state’s GOP establishment, and his roots in the Republican stronghold of Gainesville, to secure broad financial support for his candidacy. He reported raising nearly $2 million in the five weeks after entering the race, a lofty sum for a down-ticket contest.

Republican activist Jeanne Seaver also announced her intent to run for the office earlier this year.

In his campaign launch video posted Tuesday, Jones said he plans to focus on cutting taxes, tackle violent crime, prioritize vocational and technical education, enforce immigration laws and restore voter confidence by “investigating any and all instances of voter fraud.”