GOP Election Denier Burt Jones Wins Georgia Lieutenant Governor Race

Jones was part of Trump's "fake elector" scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has spread conspiracy theories about the contest since.
Georgia lieutenant governor candidate Burt Jones participates in a Republican primary debate on May 3, 2022, in Atlanta.
Georgia lieutenant governor candidate Burt Jones participates in a Republican primary debate on May 3, 2022, in Atlanta.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool

Burt Jones, a state senator who has spent two years spreading the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, is set to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor after his Democratic opponent conceded the race.

Jones, who faced Democrat Charlie Bailey, did not merely embrace lies about the 2020 election in Georgia. He was also part of the “fake elector” scheme meant to overturn the results of the contest, which President Joe Biden won.

While news outlets had not yet called the race as of Wednesday afternoon, Bailey conceded with Jones leading 51% to 46% and more than 95% of ballots counted. The Democrat said that there were not enough outstanding votes to drop Jones below the majority threshold and force a runoff.

“Although we came up short, the fight to defend our Democracy must continue,” Bailey said in a statement. “The survival of our nation depends on it. I will never give up on that fight, and I will never give up on the fight to ensure every Georgian has an equal shot and an equal opportunity.”

Georgia Republican voters largely rejected election deniers in the state’s May primaries, handing resounding victories to Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr, all of whom played a role in thwarting Trump’s attempts to undermine the state’s election, in heated GOP nominating races.

But Jones, who won Trump’s endorsement, prevailed, making him one of nearly 300 election deniers who ultimately won GOP primaries this year.

He will now assume the state’s second most powerful elected position. In Georgia, the lieutenant governor also serves as the president of the state Senate.

Jones has continually cast doubt on Trump’s 2020 defeat in Georgia, telling voters during one GOP primary event that the election “could have been so simple to investigate” and that he would “restore confidence in our elections process” if elected, Politico reported.

He sought to avoid the issue during the general election battle with Bailey. But he also would not clearly state that Biden was legitimately elected during an interview with an Atlanta television station in October, saying only that “he’s the president right now.”

Jones also argued that he did nothing wrong by participating in the fake electors scheme, saying that it was merely “a procedural move” that was based on legal challenges to the election that were ultimately dismissed.

In July, a Georgia judge halted Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ efforts to investigate Jones as part of a probe into efforts to contest the 2020 election results. But the wider fake electors scheme, which involved Georgia and several other swing states, is still the subject of an ongoing Justice Department investigation.

Bailey said he would now focus his efforts on helping Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) win a runoff race against former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker.

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