Sunday, July 21, 2024

Trump Endorses Challenger to Ga. Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger

'Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity...'

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican Rep. Jody Hice in his candidacy to be Georgia’s Secretary of State, the office responsible for overseeing elections.

The endorsement comes after significant controversy over Georgia’s election results in November which resulted in a loss for the incumbent president.

Democrats also won the state’s two competitive Senate seats after a January runoff, and many Republicans — including President Trump — blamed vote fraud and state election officials.

Now, Republicans are looking to reverse their tough losses in Georgia in 2020, which they attribute in part to poor handling from the incumbent Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

Rep. Hice, who announced his primary challenge Monday, is a four-term Congressman who was a vocal critic of Georgia’s elections in recent months.

Former President Trump’s endorsement could be a fatal blow to his primary opponents. 

“Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity,” Trump said. “I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!”

After the highly contested November election — whose verification was made worse by a surge of of mail-in ballots attributed to Covid-19 — elections officials of states around the country have come into the national spotlight.

Reliably red Georgia gave President Joe Biden a narrow win over then-President Trump. The state also sent two Democrat Senators to Washington D.C., Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Hice has publicly said Georgia’s swing for Democrats in November did not match the state’s actual political leanings.

“I guarantee you, Georgia is not blue,” Hice said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. “What happened this past election was solely because of a horrible Secretary of State and horrible decisions that he made.”

With the loss of Georgia, Republicans are in a predicament if they hope to win national elections again.

Trump has urged Republicans to address election fraud as a top priority, releasing a fiery statement this week.

“Sadly, the Election was Rigged, and without even going into detail, of which there is much, totally game changing,” he said. “Democrats could not get Republican Legislatures in Swing States to approve many of the voting changes which took place before the Election, which is mandated under the Constitution of the United States.  For that reason alone, we had an Illegitimate Election.  The Supreme Court and other Courts were afraid to rule, they were ‘gutless,’ and will go down in history as such.  No wonder so much money is being raised on this issue, and law-abiding people have every right to do so!”

David Belle Isle, a Republican attorney and the former Mayor of Alpharetta, Georgia, also announced his candidacy for the Secretary of State office Sunday.

“In the recent elections, we witnessed voter suppression on a massive scale, triggered by voter uncertainty and made worse by the Secretary’s poor decisions, carelessness, and failure to lead,” Belle Isle said. “In the Senate runoff, thousands of Georgia voters chose to stay home rather than condone a process that appeared uninterested in the difference between valid votes and invalid votes. Raffensperger single-handedly bargained away our election integrity and skewered the credibility of our mail-in ballots.”

With controversy swirling and an endorsement form the former President, Hice could likely unseat the incumbent in time for the 2022 midterm elections.

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our country,” Hice told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “What Brad Raffensperger did was create cracks in the integrity of our elections, which I wholeheartedly believe individuals took advantage of in 2020.”

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