Georgia’s Embattled Raffensperger Defeats Trump Endorsee in Secretary of State GOP Primary

Georgia’s Embattled Raffensperger Defeats Trump Endorsee in Secretary of State GOP Primary
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger gives an update on the state of the election and ballot count during a press conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta on Nov. 6, 2020. (Reuters/Dustin Chambers)
Nanette Holt
5/25/2022
Updated:
5/25/2022

CORDELE, Ga.—Incumbent Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger defeated a Trump-backed U.S. congressman in the state’s Republican secretary of state primary election on May 24.

Raffensperger received more than 52 percent of the vote to Rep. Jody Hice’s (R-Ga.) 33 percent, with 96.6 percent of votes counted, the Associated Press reported as of 4 p.m. local time on May 25. That would mean avoiding a runoff, which is required under state law if no candidate wins an outright majority of the vote.

State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who occupies the seat formerly held by Democratic gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, led four challengers but was running short of the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a June 21 runoff.

Raffensperger and the winning Democrat will face Libertarian Ted Metz and nonpartisan candidate Brenda Nelson-Porter in the Nov. 8 general election.

U.S. Rep.  Jody Hice (R-Ga.) greets voters during a stop on his Fly Around Tour of the state in February 2022. He was hoping to unseat incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the primary election on May 24, 2022. (Courtesy of the Team Hice campaign)
U.S. Rep.  Jody Hice (R-Ga.) greets voters during a stop on his Fly Around Tour of the state in February 2022. He was hoping to unseat incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the primary election on May 24, 2022. (Courtesy of the Team Hice campaign)

Hice, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was Raffensperger’s top challenger. He has criticized Raffensperger’s handling of the 2020 election.

Raffensperger’s office oversees the state’s elections, making him a target for ire from Trump and his supporters.

Hice and Trump have said that Raffensperger should have done more to investigate claims of election fraud in Georgia. They’ve said that fraud changed the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Raffensperger has vigorously defended the record of election integrity in the state.

His frustration over the continued barrage of accusations about stolen elections prompted him to publicly condemn the appointment of Karine Jean-Pierre as White House press secretary four days after she took the role.

Before starting that job, Jean-Pierre had frequently argued in social media posts and on cable news appearances that Abrams had lost her 2018 bid to be Georgia’s governor because the election was stolen.

“By giving a megaphone to individuals who undermine election results they don’t like, President Biden is doing great damage to American democracy,” Raffensperger said in a written statement.

His office is now poised to investigate a complaint filed on Nov. 30 by the vote-monitoring organization True the Vote. The work of the Houston nonprofit was detailed in the documentary “2000 Mules,” released earlier this month.

Raffensperger was the first state official to open an investigation into the group’s findings.

The investigation is paused because True the Vote and state officials haven’t reached an agreement on how to protect a whistleblower said to have described a complicated scheme to illegally traffic ballots and deposit them in drop boxes.

On May 24, voters around Georgia told The Epoch Times that they believed there had been fraud in the election, and they were angry. But their anger didn’t seem directed toward any particular official.

Nanette Holt is an Epoch Times reporter and senior features editor covering issues of national interest. Ms. Holt has had more than 30 years of experience in media and has written for Reader’s Digest, Woman’s World, Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, and others.
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