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Update: Final results in for lieutenant governor's race
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Butch Miller visits with those attending his election night party Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Carroll Daniel Construction in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update,  May 27: Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, has lost his bid for lieutenant governor after he could not force a runoff with Sen. Burt Jones. 

With 100% of precincts reporting, Jones, R-Jackson, stayed just above the 50% mark with 50.07% of the vote for the Republican nomination, according to Georgia Secretary of State results. Miller finished with 31.12% of the vote. 

Miller conceded the race Friday afternoon, May 27. 

“Obviously, I hoped for a different outcome in the election but the people have spoken, and the votes have now been counted,” Miller wrote in a statement. “Earlier today, I spoke with and congratulated the victor, Burt Jones, and wish him well.”

He wrote that he would not ask for a recount despite how close the result was to a runoff. 

In an interview with The Times Friday, Miller said he knew he was the “underdog” against Jones. Both brought in huge campaign fundraising numbers for a lieutenant governor’s race, raising more than $7.5 million combined. 

Jones was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and made that a key part of his campaign throughout the last year. Early in Miller’s campaign Trump said he would not endorse him, because of his “refusal to work with other Republican Senators on voter fraud and irregularities in the State.” 

“I think that it had an effect,” Miller said. 

But Miller went on to say that the Trump endorsement is likely less impactful than it was a year ago.

”I want you to think about who the electorate was in June of last year and where they will be in June of this year. Things change. And I think that President Trump had some great policies and great accomplishments, and I never once questioned that or thought otherwise about that.”

Miller’s first two grandchildren were born earlier this month, and Miller said he will be happy to spend time with his family and community soon. 

“The thing about public service is it requires you to spend less time with the people you love,” Miller said. 


Update, May 26: Gainesville’s Sen. Butch Miller maintains the Republican race for lieutenant governor is not over, despite his opponent’s declaration of victory. 

Miller is still hoping to draw a runoff with state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, who had 50.08% of the vote with 99.4% of precincts reporting at 3 p.m. on Thursday. If he stays over 50%, Jones will win the Republican nomination. 

Jones said he won the nomination Wednesday evening, May 25, in a statement released on Facebook.

“I'm proud to say we will be the Republican nominee to be Georgia's next lieutenant governor,” Jones wrote. 

Miller received 31.1% of the vote; Mack McGregor had 11.3% and Jeanne Seaver received 7.5%. 

“Now is the time to unite as a party and stand together against whichever Democrat candidate emerges — and I look forward to working together with my primary opponents to do just that,” Jones wrote. 

But Miller said the race was not over. 

“As the candidate who championed the passage of the strongest election law in the country, I know how important it is that every legal vote be counted,” Miller wrote in a statement following Jones’ announcement. “As of now, there are still outstanding votes that have not been counted. When the final tally is in, we will know for sure if there will be a runoff or not. Until then, any speculation or political posturing is just that."

Miller’s campaign manager, Neil Bitting, told The Times Wednesday that they would prepare for a runoff. 

The race will likely not require a recount, despite how close Jones is to the 50% mark. 

In Georgia, recounts are not automatic. If two leading candidates are within 0.5% of each other, one of the candidates may request a recount. Candidates can also petition the secretary of state for a recount regarding a suspected error discrepancy. 

Miller has represented District 49, which covers most of Hall County, since 2010. 

If necessary, the runoff election would be held on June 21. 


Update: Gainesville’s Sen. Butch Miller is waiting on final results from Election Day to see if he will draw a runoff with Sen. Burt Jones, who has just over 50% of the vote in the Republican race for lieutenant governor. 

“We’re standing by and watching,” said Neil Bitting, Miller’s campaign manager. “We’re preparing for the next round as if we’re going to be there.”

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, Jones had 50.06% of the vote with about 99.4% of precincts reporting. If he stays over 50%, Jones will win the Republican nomination. 

Miller received 31.1% of the vote; Mack McGregor had 11.3% and Jeanne Seaver received 7.5%. 

The race will likely not require a recount, despite how close Jones is to the 50% mark. 

In Georgia, recounts are not automatic. If two leading candidates are within 0.5% of each other, one of the candidates may request a recount. Candidates can also petition the secretary of state for a recount regarding a suspected error discrepancy. 

Miller has represented District 49, which covers most of Hall County, since 2010. 

If necessary, the runoff election would be held on June 21.



Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, looked to force a runoff with Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, who was hovering just over 50% of the vote as of press time.

Miller had the second most votes in the field of four Republicans with about 80% of precincts reporting as of 11:15 p.m. 

“We still have 200,000 or so votes out,” Miller said. “He’s at 51% and we’re just watching closely and hoping he’s at below 50% come morning.”

Jones and Miller, who both serve in the state Senate, have been the presumptive frontrunners for the Republican nomination since the summer. 

The race has garnered huge fundraising with both candidates raising more than $7.5 million combined. 

Lieutenant governor

Republican

Burt Jones: 50.07%

Mack McGregor: 11.27%

Butch Miller: 31.12%

Jeanne Seaver: 7.52%

Miller is the president pro tempore of the Senate and has served since 2010 in the District 49 seat, which covers most of Hall County. 

He announced he would run for lieutenant governor after Geoff Duncan said he would not run for reelection in May 2021. 

Miller advocated for elimination of the state income tax on the campaign trail and recently pushed for a constitutional amendment that would ban noncitizens from voting. 

He sponsored Georgia’s controversial comprehensive voting legislation, SB 202, which became law last year. It limited the number of ballot boxes allowed in each jurisdiction and added voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, among other changes. He pursued further voting legislation this past session, seeking to get rid of all ballot drop boxes. 

He runs Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville, which is set to move to Oakwood soon, and has worked in the auto industry for more than 30 years. 

Jones has served in the Senate since 2012. He works for his family’s company, Jones Petroleum, and founded JP Capital and Insurance Inc., a risk-management firm. 

Jones, who was endorsed by former president Donald Trump, has repeatedly claimed that the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia were fraudulent, saying at a Hall County event that former U.S. Sen. David Perdue may have won reelection if Gov. Brian Kemp had opposed certification of election results. 

If the race goes to a runoff, that will be held June 21.

The Democrat ballot for lieutenant governor also was crowded, though none of those candidates have local ties to Hall County. Kwanza Hall was in the lead as of 11:45 p.m., with a tighter race for who else may be in that runoff.

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Butch Miller visits with those attending his election night party Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Carroll Daniel Construction in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers