How Georgia's pro-Trump election chief became the bane of the GOP
November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
On Friday morning, just hours before his office helped certify that Joe Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was insistent he still supported Donald Trump and wished the President were heading to a second term.
Washington (CNN)On Friday morning, just hours before his office helped certify that Joe Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was insistent he still supported Donald Trump and wished the President were heading to a second term.
In stating the simple truth that Biden won Georgia, even if the margin was by a slim 12,000 votes, Raffensperger has opened himself up to the wrath of his own party, turning this self-proclaimed "conservative, Christian Republican," into a pariah inside the Georgia GOP.
Both the state's Republican US senators have called for Raffensperger's resignation.
"Georgia Secretary of State, a so-called Republican (RINO), won't let the people checking the ballots see the signatures for fraud.
Though Raffensperger's refusal to humor Trump's dubious demands has won him plaudits from many around the country, it's had the opposite effect among Republicans in Georgia, some of whom say the soft-spoken, 65-year-old who once harbored ambitions to run for governor has written his own political obituary.
"If you can find someone who's 18 years old and has a pulse who says they support Donald Trump, he's going to beat Brad in the primary in 2022," said one former Republican elected official and longtime activist in Georgia.
Among the states where the Trump campaign is contesting the results, Georgia is the only one where the top elections official (Raffensperger) is a Republican.
In the days after the primaries, Raffensperger suggested the problems were with a few county election officials, not in the secretary of state's office.
As Raffensperger tried to administer an election in the middle of the pandemic -- anticipating more mail-in absentee ballots than ever before -- his actions did not inspire confidence among many state Republicans, according to the former Georgia GOP official.