Election 2022: Fayette Dem lawmaker to run for LG

State Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone) is entering the race for Georgia Lieutenant Governor

A Democratic state lawmaker from Fayette County is entering the wide-open race for Georgia’s second-highest office.

State Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone) is set to announce his campaign for Lieutenant Governor at noon on Wednesday at Liberty Plaza, right across the street from the State Capitol.

An official statement from Jackson was obtained on Tuesday, which reads:

“After much pray and discussion with my family [...] we have arrived to the conclusion that Georgia has the potential and opportunity to be a good state for everyone: from small families to entrepreneurs to major businesses. In order to achieve this goal—it requires a leader with proven leadership, experience, and qualifications! I look forward to applying the 37 years of leadership and results of excellence to deliver affordable healthcare for Georgians, and an improved public education system.”

Jackson, who spent over 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, was first elected to the Georgia House in 2016. Outside of his legislative duties, the 55-year-old works as an adjunct professor and a non-profit board member. He also held a senior position at General Electric (GE), according to his official legislative biography.

The Fayette County Democrat joins a growing field of candidates for Lieutenant Governor. The incumbent, Republican Geoff Duncan, is not expected to seek a second term after criticizing the direction of his party in the post-Trump era.

State Rep. Erick Allen (D-Smyrna) entered the race shortly after the 2021 legislative session ended. And State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), who serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, is also said to be considering a run.

On the Republican side, practically every member of the Senate Republican caucus is jockeying for a promotion. From Senate Majority Whip Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), to State Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) and State Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson). Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer, a former State Senator and Duncan’s rival in a bitter 2018 Republican runoff, could also seek the office again.

Aside from ascending to the governorship if the Governor is incapacitated, the Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Georgia Senate. Though its powers have been chipped away over the years, the LG maintains several important duties, such as cast tiebreaking votes.

It is also frequently used as a launching pad to higher office: several of Duncan’s predesesccors — Casey Cagle, Mark Taylor and Zell Miller, just to name a few — have run for Governor after serving as LG.