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Jason James Carter (born August 7, 1975)[1] is an American lawyer and politician from the state of Georgia. Carter is a former state senator and was the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia in the 2014 election. He lost to incumbent Nathan Deal. Carter's grandfather is former President and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.[2]

Jason Carter
Jason Carter 02.jpg
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 42nd district
In office
May 20, 2010 – January 12, 2015
Preceded byDavid Adelman
Succeeded byElena Parent
Personal details
Jason James Carter

(1975-08-07) August 7, 1975 (age 44)
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kate Carter
ParentsJack Carter
Judy Langford
EducationDuke University (BA)
University of Georgia (JD)

Early life and careerEdit

Jimmy Carter with his grandson, Jason Carter, and Amy Carter in a tree house on the White House grounds

Carter was born at Emory University Hospital on August 7, 1975. A ninth-generation Georgian, he is a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and the son of Jack Carter and Judy Langford, daughter of former Georgia State Senator James Beverly Langford. After graduating from Evanston Township High School, where he won the Illinois State Policy Debate championship in 1993, Carter attended Duke University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in philosophy and political science.

Peace CorpsEdit

After graduating from Duke University, Carter served in the Peace Corps stationed in South Africa. In doing so he followed the example of his great grand mother, Lillian Carter (President Jimmy Carter's mother), who became a Peace Corps volunteer at age 68 and spent nearly two years in India working as a nurse with patients with leprosy. Jason Carter lived in Lochiel, South Africa, where he worked on education issues in rural areas. He learned to speak Zulu and Siswati.[3] He wrote a book, titled Power Lines, about his experiences there.[4]

Legal careerEdit

Carter later attended the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating summa cum laude with a Juris Doctor in 2004.[5] He clerked for Frank M. Hull on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit after graduating from law school.[6]

He is currently a partner at the law firm of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore in Atlanta.[7] He has represented the National Football League Players Association[3] and won the Stuart Eizenstat Young Lawyer Award, given by the Anti-Defamation League, for his pro bono work defending voting rights.[8]

Georgia SenateEdit

2010 electionEdit

In a May 11, 2010 special election, Carter was elected to represent Georgia's 42nd district in the State Senate. He won with 65.6% of the vote.[9] The seat had been vacated by David Adelman, who became the United States Ambassador to Singapore.[10] Carter is the first member of his family to win elected office since his grandfather, Jimmy Carter, was elected President of the United States.[9] Carter was later re-elected to the Senate in the 2010[11] and 2012[12] general elections.


In the Senate, Carter authored legislation to require the state budget to be presented in two parts: first, a separate education budget, and then a budget to fund the rest of state government.[13]

Carter also sponsored ethics reform legislation, including proposals to limit gifts from lobbyists to legislators, to create and fully fund an independent ethics commission, and to create a non-partisan redistricting commission.[14][15][16]

In 2012, he was awarded Common Cause's Democracy Award for his work on promoting ethics reform.[17]

In 2014, Carter voted for House Bill (H.B.) 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act which opponents nicknamed the "guns everywhere" bill.[18][19] The Safe Carry Protection Act which took effect on July 1, 2014, permits licensed gun owners to carry guns into many public and private places.[19][20][21][22][23][24] The law is supported by the Georgia Baptist Convention which includes 3,600 Baptist churches in Georgia in favor of increased church autonomy,[23] but is not supported by Catholic or Episcopalian church leaders.[23][25]

Committee assignmentsEdit

  • Judiciary
  • Science and Technology
  • Special Judiciary
  • Transportation
  • Urban Affairs[26]

2014 gubernatorial electionEdit

In 2013, Carter commissioned a poll of a potential race against Nathan Deal in the 2014 Georgia gubernatorial election.[27] He subsequently announced that he would run for the Democratic nomination.[28]

During his campaign, Carter advocated increased investment in education and technical training to help grow Georgia's film and television industry. "Georgia has seen enormous growth in film and television production, but that success is threatened unless we build the skilled workforce to fill these jobs." Carter said, and added "After years of cuts to HOPE and to our schools, industries across the state simply cannot find the skilled workers they need to fill their jobs."[29]

Polls suggested a surprisingly close race given Georgia's recent electoral history. Real Clear Politics upgraded the race from "Leans GOP" to "Toss Up."[30] Carter also out-raised the incumbent Deal in the second quarter.[31]

Carter said that people in Georgia have the right to have the Sons of Confederate Veterans-backed license plate, which features an image of the Confederate flag and that he would not try to stop them if elected.[32][33][34]

During his campaign, Carter reaffirmed his support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, stating, "Marriage equality is something I believe in and have [believed in] for a very, very, very long time since before I got into politics."[35]

The candidate in a WSB-TV debate which aired live on C-SPAN criticized the performance of Deal in handling the state economy by stating that 380,000 Georgians were looking for jobs and state government support for public education had dropped.[36]

Carter lost his 2014 bid for the office of governor to incumbent Nathan Deal by 7.9%, receiving 44.9% of the vote.[37]


Georgia gubernatorial election, 2014[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Nathan Deal (incumbent) 1,345,237 52.74% -0.28%
Democratic Jason Carter 1,144,794 44.88% +1.91%
Libertarian Andrew Hunt 60,185 2.36% -1.65%
n/a Write-ins[39] 432 0.02% +0.02%
Total votes 2,550,648 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

Personal lifeEdit

Jason's wife, Kate, is a high school teacher, and former journalist with the Athens Banner-Herald, where she won several awards.[40] Jason and Kate have two sons, Henry (b. 2006) and Thomas (b. 2008).[3][10][41]


  • Carter, Jason (2003). Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders. National Geographic. ISBN 0792241010.


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ McCaffrey, Shannon (May 8, 2010). "Jimmy Carter hits the campaign trail with grandson". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 12, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Drusch, Andrea (November 7, 2013). "10 things to know about Jason Carter". Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Jason Carter Discusses South Africa". October 28, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  5. ^ "UGA Alumni Association". Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bondurant Mixson & Elmore". Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Jason J. Carter: Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Jason Carter to run for Adelman's seat – Atlanta Business Chronicle". December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Hulse, Carl (May 11, 2010). "Veteran House Democrat Loses Seat in Primary". New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Khan, Huma (May 24, 2010). "Jason Carter Carves His Niche: 'More Than Jimmy Carter's Grandson' – ABC News". Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  11. ^ "Georgia Election Results, November 2010". Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  12. ^ "Georgia Election Results, November 2012". Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp. November 21, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Torres, Kristina. "Carter files resolution on education budget". Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  14. ^ "Lobbyist gifts decline amid citizen outcry". Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Deal, Carter grapple over state ethics commission". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Carter Grandson to Run for GA Gov". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  17. ^ "2012 Democracy Award Honorees". YouTube. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  18. ^ Live interview with Jason Carter (video),, Atlanta, GA: Fox Television News, Inc., May 21, 2014, Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  19. ^ a b Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches,, Atlanta, GA: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., April 23, 2014, Sayers, D.M. & McLaughlin, E.C., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  20. ^ House Bill 60, Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Georgia House of Representatives, Atlanta, GA, 2014, Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  21. ^ Ga. governor signs 'guns everywhere' into law, USA Today, New York, NY: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., April 23, 2014, Copeland, L. & Richards, D., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  22. ^ Georgia governor signs 'unprecedented' gun rights bill, The Huffington, The Huffington, LLC, April 23, 2014, Lavender, P., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  23. ^ a b c Georgia’s sweeping gun law sparks religious backlash,, May 5, 2014, Sanburn, J., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Georgia lawmakers pass controversial 'guns everywhere' bill,, New York, NY: NBC Universal, March 21, 2014, Richinick, M., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Catholic archbishop: No guns in my churches,, West Palm Beach, FL: Newsmax Media, Inc., April 30, 2014, Burke, C., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  26. ^ "Senator Jason Carter (official page)". Georgia State Senate. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  27. ^ Bluestein, Greg; Galloway, Jim; and Malloy, Daniel (October 7, 2013). "Your daily jolt: Jimmy Carter's grandson tests waters for a '14 run for governor". Political Insider (blog). The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved November 14, 2013.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  28. ^ Cassidy, Christina A. (November 7, 2013). "Jimmy Carter's Grandson to Run for Ga. Governor". Associated Press. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  29. ^ Communications Director, Carter for Governor. "Carter to Film Industry: Sustained Growth Depends on Making Education the First Priority". Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  30. ^ Darnell, Tim (April 29, 2014). "RCP Says Georgia Governor's Race a Toss Up". Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  31. ^ Bluestein, Greg. "Jason Carter out-raises Nathan Deal in latest fundraising report - Political Insider blog". Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  32. ^ Jason Carter: Georgians have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate,, Atlanta, GA: Fox Television Stations, Inc., April 21, 2014, Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  33. ^ Jimmy Carter’s grandson: People have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate, The Washington Times, Washington, DC: The Washington Times, LLC, April 21, 2014, McLaughlin, S., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  34. ^ Jimmy Carter grandson tells MSNBC he can’t block confederate license plates in Georgia, Mediaite, New York, NY: Mediaite, LLC, April 21, 2014, Rothman, N., Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  35. ^ _n_5655437.html
  36. ^ WSB-TV. Georgia Governor's Debate. (October 26, 2014). C-Span. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  37. ^ "Gov. Deal defeats Democrat Jason Carter to win second term". Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  38. ^ "GA – Election Results". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  39. ^ "Write In" (pdf). Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  40. ^ Communications and journalism pathway teachers: Kate Carter, Henry W. Grady High School, Atlanta, GA: Atlanta Public Schools, 2008, Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  41. ^ Burns, Rebecca (September 24, 2014). "Jason Carter: The Inevitable Candidate". Atlanta (October 2014). Retrieved December 1, 2015.

External linksEdit