Jason Carter, a Georgia state senator and one of Jimmy Carter's 11 grandchildren, is officially going after his grandfather's pre-presidential job: the Georgia governorship. There's been speculation about the younger Carter's gubernatorial aspirations for some weeks now, but the 38-year-old Democrat has only just confirmed his plans in an interview with The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, saying his state "can’t afford four more years of an economy that’s not working for the middle class and an education system that’s underfunded."
Carter's run is troubling news for incumbent Governor Nathan Deal, who already has to fend off two primary opponents and a recent state ethics scandal in his bid for reelection in 2014. As the Associated Press notes, a Jason Carter campaign will almost certainly "grab national attention, be well-financed, and criticize the governor's ethics and leadership."
But there's even more Georgia political history at play here: Carter will appear on the same ballot as Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, who has raised $1.7 million for her campaign and is also the daughter of longtime former U.S. senator Sam Nunn. As The Atlanta-Journal Constitution pointed out last month, the Carter and Nunn family names have thus been intertwined for four decades, and Sam Nunn and Jimmy Carter famously didn't always get along.
Carter's position mirrors his grandfather's by other measures, too: Jimmy Carter was also finishing up his second term as state senator when he first ran for governor in 1966. He lost that race, but landed in the governor's seat just four years later—and the White House not long after that.