Burt Jones

State Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, attends the Walton County Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Monroe, Ga.

Citing his Donald Trump bona fides, state Sen. Burt Jones launched his bid for lieutenant Tuesday.

The Jackson Republican has represented southern Walton County in the General Assembly since 2013 and was an early backer of Trump’s run for the White House.

“Georgians deserve a proven business leader, consistent conservative and champion for Georgia families with the courage to stand up and make our state a better place, and I’m running for lieutenant governor to do just that,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Despite winning a fifth term in a landslide last November, Jones has cast doubt on the 2020 elections in Georgia, calling on Gov. Brian Kemp to convene a special legislative session to reverse the election and give the state’s electoral votes to Trump.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan subsequently stripped Jones of the position of chairman of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

Duncan is not running for reelection. Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville and party activist Jeanne Seaver of Savannah also are running in the GOP primary for lieutenant governor.

State Reps. Erick Allen and Derrick Jackson are among the Democrats seeking the post, along with Bryan Miller, grandson of former Gov. Zell Miller.

Jones issued this statement:

“I’ll fight for the future of every Georgian by creating high-quality jobs and cutting taxes, reining in the cost of higher education and investing in more educational opportunities for our children, strengthening election integrity and restoring voter confidence, and standing with our men and women of law enforcement to keep our communities safe.

“As the first elected official in Georgia to endorse President Trump, I will also proudly keep fighting for his America First agenda. 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.”

The decision by Jones means at least half of the Walton County legislative delegation will flip after the next election.

Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Loganville, has decided not to seek a new term in 2022. Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez is running in the Republican primary in District 114 and is the only announced candidate.

Sen. Bill Cowsert of Athens, was thought to be a potential candidate for Congress after U.S. Rep. Jody Hice decided to give up the seat in the 10th District to run for secretary of state next year. However, Cowsert has not joined the list of nearly 10 Republicans seeking the position.

Rep. Bruce Williamson, R-Monroe, has said hopes to continue in his position, believing he could do more for Walton County in Atlanta than in Washington.

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