Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state who refused to “discover” almost 12,000 votes to overturn former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss within the state, is projected to win reelection on Tuesday, defeating Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen.
Raffensperger led Nguyen 54% to 44% with 85% of votes counted. Nguyen tweeted that she had known as Raffensperger to concede.
Raffensperger’s refusal to acquiesce to Trump’s anti-democratic efforts to undermine the election turned him into a large goal of the previous president’s motion. The Georgia Republican and his household have been topic to loss of life threats and “sexualized” threats of violence, as he later testified to the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the U.S. Capitol.
A yr in the past, most Georgia political specialists thought-about Raffensperger’s reelection bid dead in the water.
Proper-wing U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who twice voted to contest the election leads to Congress, launched a primary challenge and instantly earned Trump’s endorsement. And Democrats, contemporary off a trio of 2020 election wins in Georgia, launched an all-out blitz to take over statewide workplaces that had barely eluded them in 2018.
However Raffensperger crushed Hice within the GOP major, then defeated Nguyen ― who additionally rose to prominence for combating Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the Georgia outcomes ― within the normal election.
Raffensperger’s major victory eliminated Georgia from the checklist of races by which a Republican election denier may have develop into the highest elections official in a key swing state. Conspiracy theorists who may put the 2024 election at risk of turning into an all-out democratic disaster gained GOP nominations in Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Nguyen and Democrats nonetheless tried to color Raffensperger as a radical, pointing to his help for SB 202, the sweeping package of voting restrictions Georgia’s GOP-controlled legislature handed in 2021, simply months after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
The regulation focused the voting rights of Black Georgians and different voters who had pushed Democrats throughout the road in 2020. In some ways, it was primarily based on the conspiracy theories that had pushed Trump’s election problem.
The passage of SB 202 helped kick off a yr by which Republican state legislatures handed dozens of latest legal guidelines limiting voting rights across the nation, particularly in swing states that President Joe Biden gained.
“Right here’s the factor about Brad Raffensperger. He desires to current himself to Georgia voters as an individual who stood up towards Donald Trump,” Nguyen said in an October debate between the 2 candidates. “However the actuality is following the regulation is the naked minimal and anticipated out of any elected official who took the oath of workplace.”
“There appears to be this concept that he’s a reasonable Republican, and that isn’t true in any respect,” Nguyen stated at a marketing campaign occasion final week, according to the Associated Press.
Nguyen promised to combat to repeal giant components of SB 202, which was most infamously identified for making it unlawful to provide water or food to voters as they stood in Georgia’s notoriously lengthy traces on the polls.
The regulation strengthened voter ID provisions for absentee ballots, diminished the time voters needed to request mail ballots and restricted the variety of drop packing containers counties may deploy. These adjustments all targeted the most heavily Democratic areas of Georgia.
The regulation additionally permits any Georgian to problem the eligibility of voters on the polls, resulting in a rash of claims within the weeks earlier than the election.
Raffensperger used the regulation to bolster his conservative credentials, whereas he leaned on his thwarting of Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election to enchantment to reasonable Georgians who’d helped Democrats rating massive victories within the state two years in the past.
“Many individuals buckled and folded,” Raffensperger said in the debate. “I didn’t, and I gained’t.”