- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Georgia Republican lawmaker warned a former Democratic colleague in Atlanta that she may “go missing” if she tries to bring the Confederate statue debate to southern Georgia.

State Rep. Jason Spencer, of Woodbine, made the comment in a series of now-deleted Facebook posts responding to Atlanta attorney and former Democratic state Rep. LaDawn Jones, according to screenshots captured by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mr. Spencer had posted a series of photos of the Jefferson Davis Memorial near Fitzgerald, including a caption saying, “This is Georgia’s history. #DealWithIt.” Ms. Jones, who is black, responded to the post by encouraging Mr. Spencer to get as many photos as he can, while he can, because Confederate-era memorials on public property will soon be a thing of the past. Mr. Spencer warned Ms. Jones that South Georgia is not the same as Atlanta, and that she would likely be met with “something a lot more definitive” than tiki torches.

“They will go missing in the Okefenokee [Swamp],” he wrote in response to a sympathetic commentator. “Too many necks they are red around here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about ‘em.”

Ms. Jones, who represented an Atlanta-based district from 2012 to 2016, replied, “Sounds like a threat of physical violence … is that what we are doing now?”

“WINTER IS COMING,” she warned. “You know it too … otherwise you wouldn’t have found a need to even make this post or those hollow threats of not coming to south GA.”

Mr. Spencer told the Journal-Constitution that his words weren’t meant as a threat, but as a way of protecting Ms. Jones from stepping into dangerous territory.

“She is from Atlanta — and the rest of Georgia sees this issue very differently,” he said. “Just trying to keep her safe if she decided to come down and raise hell about the memorial in the backyards of folks who will see this as an unwelcome aggression from the left.”

Ms. Jones said she was “concerned” about Mr. Spencer’s comments but gave him the benefit of the doubt because of their friendly relationship during her time in the Georgia House.

“If it were anybody other than Jason Spencer, then I would be alarmed. But we had a unique relationship in the Georgia Legislature,” she told the Journal-Constitution. “If that had come from anybody else, I’d take it as a serious threat.”

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