ATLANTA – The two major party candidates for lieutenant governor released their first ads of the general election campaign Wednesday, and they couldn’t be more different in tone.

State Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, (above right) went the biographical route with an ad describing growing up in rural Georgia, where he learned “small-town values.”

Democrat Charlie Bailey (above left) countered with an ad attacking Jones as a “poster boy for extremism” for participating in attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Jones touted his background as a job-creating small business owner and pledged to support two platform planks long favored by many Republicans: ending Georgia’s income tax and making sure parents are in charge of their children’s education.

The GOP-controlled General Assembly passed the Parents’ Bill of Rights this year establishing a process for giving parents input into curriculum decisions.

However, the legislature has been content to reduce the state income tax rate rather than get rid of the tax amid opposition from some Republican leaders to eliminating it entirely.

Bailey’s ad calls attention to Jones’ participation with 15 other Georgia Republicans in an alternate slate of electors that in December 2020 sought to reverse the outcome of the November presidential contest that saw Democrat Joe Biden carry Georgia over Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

Jones’ role led to his being stripped of a Senate committee chairmanship in January of last year along with two other Senate Republicans who served as alternate electors.

Bailey also charged Jones with publicly opposing abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. However, a Jones campaign spokesman later told Axios he supports those exceptions.

The Jones campaign is spending $1.5 million on his ads, which will run statewide across broadcast, cable, and digital platforms.

Bailey’s campaign is spending a bit less, with an ad budget in the six figures.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.