Interview with Jack Kingston, November 6, 2018

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


John H. (Jack) Kingston was born on April 24, 1955 in Bryan, Texas. His family relocated to Athens, Georgia, after his father, Dr. Albert Kingston, joined the University of Georgia faculty. Kingston attended the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1978. He moved to Savannah where he became Vice President of Palmer & Cay Insurance Services. Kingston, a Republican, won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1984 and served until 1992 when he defeated Democrat Barbara Christmas to win Georgia’s first congressional district. While in Congress, Kingston served for several terms on the House Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and chaired the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service, Education, and Related Agencies. He was also House Republican Caucus vice-chair from 2004 until 2006. Kingston declined to seek reelection to the U.S. House in 2014. Kingston lost narrowly to businessman David Perdue in the 2014 Republican senatorial runoff. Kingston joined Squire Patton Boggs, an international law and lobbying firm, as principal in 2015.

Kingston discusses growing up in Athens and attending the University of Georgia. He talks about his early interest in politics, including his participation in several Republican youth organizations and campaigns. Kingston recalls moving to Savannah and his first campaign for political office. He discusses his work in the Georgia House of Representatives and his relationship with Republican and Democratic colleagues. Kingston reflects on his successful 1992 congressional campaign and making the transition from state politics to Congress. He mentions legislation of interest, memories of working with Newt Gingrich, and the difference between serving in the minority and majority party. Kingston talks about the redistricting process and how it affected his political plans. He recalls Saxby Chambliss and Sonny Perdue’s victories in 2002 and their impact on Georgia Republican politics. Kingston discusses his unsuccessful 2014 campaign for the U.S. Senate and subsequent work with the Georgia Republican Party. The interview closes with Kingston’s thoughts on Georgia political history and his thoughts on the 2018 midterm elections.






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Jack Kingston and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Jack Kingston, November 6, 2018,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 25, 2024,