FOREST PARK, Ga. — This year’s race for Georgia Lieutenant Governor includes a Republican under investigation in a possible criminal case - and he has been leading in the polls.
At midday Tuesday, Burt Jones sought votes from business leaders at a modest event in Forest Park. Jones is a Republican state senator from Jackson, running in a down-ballot race for lieutenant governor.
Jones was in the thick of the effort to send former President Donald Trump electors from Georgia to the U.S. Capitol to overturn the state’s support for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. He joined a legal filing to support the state of Texas when it sought the Supreme Court's intervention in Georgia casting its Electoral College votes. The Court declined to hear that suit, effectively rejecting it.
Trump-backed Jones entered this year’s Republican primary – and GOP voters ratified the former president's choice.
When asked if Trump backers or critics approached Jones about his effort in 2020, he said, it isn't a concern for voters.
"You know, nobody brings it up, except when I talk to you or other media members," he said.
Jones said issues like jobs and inflation are what voters talk to him about in the race for lieutenant governor.
The post is considered part-time at the Georgia Capitol. The incumbent, Geoff Duncan, declined to run again after he was critical of some Republicans' efforts to undermine the election.
"He wants to talk about anything but that," said Charlie Bailey, the Democrat running against Jones.
Bailey said voters bring it up with him quite regularly.
"They don’t like it when a politician comes in and says, 'I don’t care what you decided. I’m going to take that power from you,'" Bailey said. "They don’t like it."
If there is another disputed presidential election in 2024 – the Lt. Governor, as presiding officer of the state senate, could be right in the thick of it.