(Headline USA) Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is facing a tough primary challenge Tuesday, nearly two years after he drew the wrath of former President Donald Trump for refusing to try to investigate credible evidence of vote fraud in the 2020 election.
Raffensperger has since acknowledged that some abuse may have occurred, based in part on the evidence presented by True the Vote in the recent documentary 2,000 Mules.
But in early 2021, the potentially China-compromised voting official not only rebuffed Trump, but secretly recorded a conversation with the then-president and his lawyers, which was leaked to the Washington Post by one of Raffensperger’s top surragates, fueling left-wing calls for a second Trump impeachment even before the Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol.
Trump was quick to endorse U.S. Rep. Jody Hice last year when he announced he would challenge Raffensperger. Trump also lambasted GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who is battling a Trump-endorsed former Sen. David Perdue in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary.
But despite the commonalities between Kemp and Raffensperger, both of whom Trump has panned as RINOs, Kemp is projected to win his race, due in part to a reluctance by voters to punish him for something over which he had little control.
Raffensperger—whose settlement of a 2020 lawsuit waged by activist Stacey Abrams and Democrat mega-lawyer Marc Elias was largely responsible for creating the conditions that enabled rampant vote fraud—is another story entirely.
Raffensperger maintains that the votes in Georgia’s presidential election were counted three times, and each tally confirmed Biden’s victory. However, such procedures address counting errors only and do not account for the presence of fraudulent absentee ballots, those that were illegally harvested or those rendered illegitimate by chain-of-custody violations. Trump “lost” the race by a margin of just under 12,000 votes, or 0.2%.
All three challengers in the GOP primary—Hice, former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and former probate and magistrate judge T.J. Hudson—have criticized Raffensperger’s handling of the 2020 election, saying he caused Georgians to lose confidence in the system.
Raffensperger has punched back, staunchly defending his record and insisting that Georgia’s elections are fair and secure.
He also made prohibiting noncitizens from voting—a platform popular with conservative Republicans that is already enshrined in Georgia law—a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
On the Democratic side, five candidates are fighting for their party’s nomination. All of them have focused their attacks on election reforms passed by Republicans in the General Assembly in 2021 that shortened the period to request an absentee ballot, added an ID requirement, restricted drop boxes, and stripped the secretary of state of his seat on the State Election Board, among other things.
Despite the specious attacks on the law—labeled by current White House occupant Joe Biden as “Jim Crow on steroids”—early voting in the state broke records during the leadup to the primary.
State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who occupies the legislative seat formerly held by Democratic gubernatorial candidate and left-wing activist Stacey Abrams, leads the group in fundraising and has snagged some significant endorsements.
The other candidates are: Floyd Griffin, a state senator and former mayor of the city of Milledgeville; Michael Owens, former Cobb County Democratic Party chairman; John Eaves, former Fulton County Commission chairman; and Dee Dawkins–Haigler, a former state representative from DeKalb County.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press