Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, spoke to a lively Republican crowd in Braselton, Monday, Feb. 28, leaning on false claims of election fraud in 2020 to distinguish himself against Sen. Butch Miller in the lieutenant governor’s primary race.
“I’m tired of weak-kneed Republicans acting like Democrats,” Jones told the largely senior crowd of about a 100 people at The Village at Deaton Creek.
Jones, who has served as a state senator since 2012, platform includes opposing critical race theory in schools and giving parents more control in challenging school districts, eliminating the state income tax and increasing election security measures. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan is not running for re-election, creating openings for other Republicans to vie for his seat.
Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is running for governor, spoke before Jones at the event, but left before a Q and A, saying it was “Burt’s night.” Both candidates have been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.
Jones said he would not he would not endorse either Perdue or Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican primary for governor and has done events with both candidates during his campaign.
“I’m running my own race,” he said. “I’ve got a situation where I’ve got a lot of David Perdue supporters who are supporting me. I’ve got a lot of Kemp supporters who are supporting me.”
However, he supported Perdue’s contest of the 2020 presidential election and indicated there was fraud in Perdue’s runoff contest the following January.
“I’d be willing to bet he’d still be United States Senator,” Jones said of Kemp’s decision not to oppose the election results. Perdue lost to U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, who won 50.6% of the vote.
When asked by crowd members what he would do to prevent future election issues, Jones said he would advocate for eliminating ballot drop boxes and Dominion voting machines. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which amplified inaccurate assertions that Dominion altered votes.
“I don’t know if there’s something wrong with the machinery, but people everywhere I go believe there’s something wrong with the machinery,” Jones said. “When the perception is there, it doesn’t matter what the reality is.”
One audience member called Butch Miller, who represents most of Hall County and is senate president pro tempore, a “RINO” (Republican in name only) and a “never-Trumper” and was met with applause. But Jones said he did not want to talk about his opponent, saying both were running on conservative platforms and residents in Hall County likely knew Miller well.
Last summer, Trump released a statement saying he would not support Miller, because of his stance on the 2020 election.
Jones has a similar platform to Miller, who has also advocated for eliminating ballot drop boxes, eliminating state income tax and marked critical race theory as a key issue during his campaign. But Miller has stopped short of saying that 2020 election results were fraudulent.
The primary election will be held May 24.