May 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger fends off challenge after Trump backlash

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Incumbent Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held off a challenge from Rep. Jody Hice in the GOP primary, AP reported early Wednesday, the second major defeat for former President Trump in the Georgia primaries.

Why it matters: Perhaps no Georgia Republican faced as much blowback and as many withering attacks from former President Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election than Raffensperger.

  • Raffensperger manages Georgia's elections and has consistently defended the state's results as accurate.
  • "Standing for you, standing for the rule of law and election integrity, standing for the truth and not buckling under the pressure is what people want," Raffensperger told reporters late Tuesday as he claimed victory.

The big picture: This primary election largely came down to Georgia Republicans' beliefs about the 2020 election. Hice's campaign for secretary of state was premised on false claims of widespread fraud.

  • Meanwhile, Raffensperger spent much of his time on the campaign trail calmly refuting election disinformation with primary voters.
  • He also highlighted the state's controversial voting law passed by Republicans last year, which added new restrictions on absentee voting.

Catch up quick: Raffensperger, a structural engineer and former state house member was thrust onto the national stage in 2020 as he oversaw one machine recount and a second hand-recount of the election results.

  • He famously fielded Trump's request to "find 11,000 plus votes" in a recorded January 2021 phone call.
  • Trump has launched repeated attacks against Raffensperger since leaving office, stating in July that he's done a "terrible job of watching over Voter Integrity in Georgia."

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