ATLANTA — Outgoing Georgia Senate president pro tem Butch Miller conceded the Republican primary race for lieutenant governor on Friday, as it became clear state Sen. Burt Jones had secured enough of the vote to avoid a runoff.
How the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor would shake out was the last major question hanging in the air from Tuesday's primary voting.
Miller, one of the state's most influential Republicans, had held off on conceding the race with Jones - who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump - narrowly clearing the 50% + 1 threshold to avoid a runoff.
With 100% of the votes counted and Jones sitting at 50.07%, it became clear there would be no second life for Miller in the race. He said he would not be requesting a recount.
"I concede this race today not asking for a recount, despite how close we came to a runoff. I’m proud to have taken part in passing our election integrity law last year, and I believe it’s now proven to work," Miller said. "I look forward to supporting Burt in the upcoming general election and I am fully committed to his success, the success of the Republican Party, and the success of the State of Georgia."
In a tweet, Jones thanked Miller for his support and said he was "looking forward to working toward a big win in November."
In a perhaps indirect reference to the tumult of the 2020 election - during which Jones was a vocal proponent of fraud narratives on Trump's behalf - Miller in a statement issued a call "on all who are advancing to the general election to fight all you can on the campaign trail, but once the votes are cast and counted to accept the election results."
Jones is a 42-year-old University of Georgia graduate, who spent time as a member of the Bulldogs football team and had been in the Georgia Senate since 2013.
In 2020 he was one of the more visible state leaders to endorse Trump's efforts to discredit the Georgia election result, alleging widespread fraud that was vehemently denied by state Republican leadership and never substantiated.
Jones 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.
He later lost his chairmanship of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committees, after a failed challenge to Miller for the chamber's Republican leadership position.