Position running for: Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Candidate profiles allow candidates to speak directly to their constituency and answer questions specifically related to the offices they are running for. All candidates listed on Lebanon County ballots have been contacted for an interview. Subsequent profiles will follow in order of candidate response.
James Earl Jones is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. This article will be broken down into two parts: 1) background information and 2) his candidacy for the Lt. Governorship.
James Earl Jones was raised in Arkansas but has lived in Pennsylvania for over 22 years; he currently lives in the Philadelphia area. He is a retired U.S. Navy Veteran, runs an HR consulting practice, and is the CEO of a Petroleum company he founded in 2003, called Silverback Commodities.
Jones has a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Business Administration, and has attended Law School.
Jones said that throughout his career, he has overseen over 275,000 employees located at 21 different locations throughout the United States, handled 26 union contracts, and has managed a labor strike in which more than 26,000 workers walked off the job.
Politically, Jones said he ran for office for the first time in 2010 when he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 8th Congressional District. He said, at that time, he ran against 11 other “tea party patriots” for the Republican nomination, ultimately being defeated by the late Mike Fitzpatrick.
Jones said he ran for U.S. House of Representatives again in 2016 in the 2nd Congressional District after being asked to do so by the Republican Party; however, he ultimately lost this race to the now incumbent Dwight Evans.
He said that his bid for Congress in 2016 took a lot of time, energy, and finances, and after losing that race, he decided he would put politics behind him. However, leading up to the current election, Jones said a Republican representative urged him to run for Lt. Governor.
“I said to him I’m not interested in running for office but will begin to pray about it … and finally, I decided well either I could be Jonah as he was in the Old Testament, or I could be Moses. So, I said OK, I think I’ll choose Moses, and I decided that I would run for office based on a lot of prayer and due diligence,” Jones said.
As a private citizen, James Earl Jones has worked on initiatives in Philadelphia to help reduce crime by providing job training opportunities. He said he has also worked with groups that help formerly incarcerated individuals re-transition into regular lives.
Candidacy for Lt. Governor:
James Earl Jones’s platform can be summed up with the “four basic E’s” – economy, environment, education, and energy, and he has developed a 3-5 year comprehensive plan.
Jones said that he has drawn from his extensive experience working as a businessman to develop his platform, which uniquely qualifies him to target each area.
On the economy, Jones said Pennsylvania needs to emphasize getting people back to work. He believes that we “have to stop providing more carrot and start providing a little bit more of a stick.”
He said the government of PA needs to identify employment opportunities better and get people trained and into those positions. Jones also believes it is essential for the government to do more to help businesses to reopen after losing 35% of companies within the state during the pandemic.
“It really bothers my spirit when I’m driving across the 67 counties, and I see so many retail stores, and I see gas stations/laundries shut down because of the way that our government has caused us to go into this point of desperation,” he said.
If elected, James Earl Jones believes he can use his influence within the international business sphere to encourage new businesses to begin to import and export with Pennsylvania.
He also said that the government of Pennsylvania has not been friendly enough to manufacturers looking to develop their factories here. Jones said that he knows of at least three manufacturing companies initially interested in developing their operations in Pennsylvania that ultimately decided to go to Arkansas because of gridlock in our state government.
On the environment, Jones believes that the government needs to do a better job of rooting out personnel who are not fulfilling their oath as servants of the people of Pennsylvania (specifically referring to the Department of Environmental Protection).
In education, James Earl Jones believes that we need to focus on redeveloping our education system to do a better job of teaching Pennsylvanians math, reading, and writing skills.
He said, “Recently, I discovered that in China, they are teaching their 3rd graders a multi-tier level of calculus. What we’re teaching here in America is how men can have babies. That’s not going to fare well with our enemies.”
Jones said he also believes that the Pennsylvania education system needs to do a better job of teaching civics so that children grow up with a better understanding of how their government and constitution work.
Jones believes that the Ten Commandments should be re-introduced into schools “as a fresh reminder of where we come from and what is right and wrong.”
On energy, James Earl Jones believes that Pennsylvania needs to begin using more of the natural gas found right here in the state. “There should be no reason why we are outsourcing our energy development to other countries, ‘ he said.
Jones is pro 2nd amendment and against red flag laws that he believes violate our constitutional protections. He also said he is a pro-life candidate who will work with the next Governor to overturn abortion legislation similar to other states such as Alabama.
When asked how he would handle the role of President of the Senate, Jones said that he would approach the position “heavy-handed.” He said he believes the Lt. Governor should not just “sit around and wait” to be needed but should actively work to influence and pass legislation.
Jones said that Republicans are uniquely positioned to take control over the State House, State Senate, Lt. Governor, and Governor’s offices. He believes that if elected, they should take advantage of the opportunity and work to pass as much legislation as possible.
When asked about his approach to being the Chair of the PA Board of Pardons, Jones said that he believes there is no cookie-cutter formula in determining whether or not someone should receive pardon or parole.
However, Jones said that it is essential to look at each case independently and study the individual’s track record within the prison system; he believes in second chances and thinks the Board of Pardons must review each case on its own merit.
As Chair of the Emergency Council, Jones said he believes his military and business experience gives him a unique insight into the role.
Jones said, in an emergency, he would be able to go to the scene and give accurate and necessary information to the Governor. He said that his experience handling the 1975 Saigon evacuation during the Vietnam war gave him unique insight into crisis management.
James Earl Jones said that what makes him stand apart from other candidates running for Lt. Governor is the volume and depth of his experience. He said that he does not believe any other candidate for this post has had experience managing as many people, nor have they navigated the high-intensity decision-making that he has.
Asked what he would like to say directly to his constituents, Jones said, “James Earl Jones means business. I have a 3-5 year business plan that will bring Pennsylvania back to a place where we can be successful once again, and I will help people embrace the American Dream they once had. For all those people who felt like they were left out of the growing American economy, make no mistake about it, James Earl Jones will bring you into the fold. You want to work? You want to be successful? You want to embrace the American dream of homeownership? You want to send your children to trade school or college? You want to buy that first house? We can help you to do that, but you have to be able to vote to get the right man in place because James Earl Jones means business.”