District 25 State Senate seat officially returns to Milledgeville this week
Someone from Milledgeville was always the State senator from District 25. That's just the way it was, going as far back as anybody could remember.
Then came 2012, when Burt Jones, a political newcomer in his early 30s, hailing from Jackson in Butts County, upset incumbent Johnny Grant by more than five percentage points in the Republican primary. Jones has represented Baldwin County in the State Senate ever since.
This morning, capping off a relatively rapid rise through the political ranks that took exactly 10 years, Jones will be sworn in as Georgia's next lieutenant governor, which is the second-most powerful elected position in state government. The lieutenant governor in Georgia, as the President of the Senate, "presides over debate in the Senate chamber and works with advocates to introduce legislation."
With Jones last spring opting to run for lieutenant governor, it opened the door for a new State Senator. Milledgeville's Rick Williams eventually emerged victorious out of a crop of candidates. Now, Williams also will be sworn in this week, bringing the District 25 seat back home to Milledgeville after 10 years. Williams is slated to move over to the State Senate from the House of Representatives, where he's served as Baldwin County's state rep since 2017. During that time, of course, Jones and Williams worked side-by-side on a number of initiatives and pieces of legislation for Baldwin County and surrounding areas.
Getting back to Williams, State Senators generally have more ability to get things done for their district. For one, it's the "upper house" of the Georgia General Assembly with fewer members, much like the United States Senate is the upper chamber of Congress and has fewer members. On top of that, State Senators are allowed to amend bills while those bills are on the floor, while state reps do not.
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"I'm excited about it and the opportunity to get a lot of things done. Of course, I'll be working hard for all of the counties in my district, but I think that (having the District 25 seat held by a Baldwin County resident) is a benefit for this county," Williams said.
As a cherry on top, the fact that Jones is the new lieutenant governor also should benefit Baldwin County, according to Williams. Jones represented Baldwin for 10 years and made plenty of friends and acquaintances around Milledgeville.
"This is the first time in many, many years that Georgia's lieutenant governor will be from this part of the state," Williams said. "I look forward to getting to work."