Raffensperger Wins Georgia GOP Primary Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Republican official who pushed back on former President Donald J. Trump’s demands to “find” enough votes...


Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Republican official who pushed back on former President Donald J. Trump’s demands to “find” enough votes to help him overturn the 2020 election, defeated a Republican primary challenge on Tuesday.

Mr. Raffensperger, who is Georgia’s top election official as secretary of state, won his GOP primary against Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican congressman who voted to void the 2020 election and who was backed by Mr. Trump.

The Associated Press called the win for Mr. Raffensperger, who was able to win back the trust of Republican voters in Georgia by portraying himself as a champion of “election integrity” and refuting the lies of Mr. Trump and his allies on the 2020 elections. His victory amounted to a repudiation of Mr. Trump’s attempts to weaponize the lies of the 2020 election into political success in 2022.

Mr. Raffensperger did not mention Mr. Trump by name in his victory remarks on Tuesday night, but he clearly referred to him. “Not giving in to pressure is what people want,” Mr. Raffensperger said.

Although Mr Raffensperger was a hero to many Democrats for his refusal to cancel the 2020 election, he will still face stiff opposition in November’s general election. Democrats have focused on races for secretaries of state across the country as a way to fight what they see as a wave of restrictive new election laws.

The contest in Georgia between Mr. Raffensperger and Mr. Hice has elevated the once sleepy downhill ballot race into a hyperpartisan dogfight, helping bring national attention to races for secretary of state across the country. After Mr. Hice secured support from Mr. Trump, a host of candidates who have publicly questioned or challenged 2020 election results in several states announced their candidacy for secretary of state, worrying Democrats, election experts and some Republicans.

After the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Raffensperger became perhaps the most famous secretary of state in the country, as a leaked audio call showed him resisting pressure from Mr. Trump. And although he publicly lamented the loss of the former president, Mr Raffensperger has repeatedly asserted that Georgia’s elections were free and fair.

This immediately put him in the crosshairs of Mr. Trump, who has focused his political capital on ousting Republicans who went against his whims after the 2020 election or voted for his impeachment after the Capitol riot.

Mr Trump quickly endorsed Mr Hice, the first secretary of state nominee to win his endorsement, in March last year. “Jody has been a steadfast fighter for conservative Georgia values ​​and is a staunch ally of the America First agenda,” Mr. Trump said. “Unlike the current Georgian Secretary of State, Jody leads with integrity.”

As he looked to fend off Mr. Hice’s challenge, Mr. Raffensperger moved to the right. He was one of the most vocal supporters of the new state election law, which added many new regulations and restrictions on voting, although the law also stripped Mr. Raffensperger of some of his powers as secretary of the election. ‘State.

Mr Raffensperger called his opponent’s campaign mere political expediency.

“I have a good record to run on – he has nothing to run on because he hasn’t done anything,” Mr Raffensperger said in an interview. “In fact, when we had the Republican House, the Republican Senate, and a president who was Republican, he didn’t introduce a single electoral reform bill and neither did any of his other colleagues.”

Mr. Hice sometimes campaigned with the vigor of a presidential candidate as he zipped around the state in a chartered jet. He often criticized Mr. Raffensperger for mailing ballot requests to what he described as every voter in the state in the 2020 election. Mr. Raffensperger mailed ballot requests to all active voters, not to all voters, and that was during the primary, not the general election.

“I voted out Kevin McCarthy to be our leader, and I was punished for it,” Mr. Hice said at an event last week, referring to his removal from the House Armed Services Committee. “But in doing so, I resisted leadership, unlike Brad Raffensperger.”

But after a hard-fought year-long primary campaign, the two candidates spent the final days before Tuesday largely out of public view.

Mr Raffensperger stepped down from the campaign trail to oversee the primary elections in his capacity as Secretary of State. Mr. Hice mostly encountered local Republican groups that were banning access to the media.

mayan king and Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Raffensperger Wins Georgia GOP Primary Secretary of State
Raffensperger Wins Georgia GOP Primary Secretary of State
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