Geoff Duncan’s departure as lieutenant governor opens opportunity for Dems, GOP

State Sen. Burt Jones endorsed by Donald Trump, while Democrat Charlie Bailey has Stacey Abrams’ strong support
Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. (Source: WTOC)
Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. (Source: WTOC)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 9:04 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A rare instance of Georgia’s No. 2 elected official not running for a second term has created an open seat in this fall’s 2022 midterm elections.

After being elected to the state House in 2012, Republican Geoff Duncan became Georgia’s lieutenant governor in 2018, defeating Sarah Riggs Amico with 52% of the vote.

In 2020, Duncan became a vocal critic of then-President Donald Trump’s claims the election was stolen. He even penned a book entitled “GOP 2.0: How the 2020 Election Can Lead to a Better Way Forward for America’s Conservative Party.”

But Duncan’s departure after only one term as lieutenant governor has opened the door for a Trump supporter, state Sen. Burt Jones, who has represented middle Georgia’s District 25 since 2012. Democrat Charlie Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General in 2018 and who has the strong support of gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams, is also seeking the seat.

The race has drawn national attention due to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ continuing investigation into alleged 2020 election malfeasance. Willis has been disqualified from investigating Jones’ alleged role as a fake elector operating on Trump’s behalf because of her support of Bailey.

On June 14, Willis attended a fundraiser for Bailey, well after she had already convened a grand jury to investigate an alleged plot involving 16 Republicans who served as fake electors, one of whom was allegedly Jones.

Willis was disqualified from investigating Jones by Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.

Full coverage of Georgia’s 2022 midterm elections.

Bailey and Jones are set to debate each other Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting, a debate which will air on GBP at 7 p.m.