Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won a Republican primary race in his bid for reelection, a blow to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to unseat the election official for not backing his unfounded claims of a stolen 2020 election.
Georgia, a state carried by President Joe Biden in 2020, is a key part of Trump’s claims of election fraud. The former president has repeatedly argued he won the state without evidence.
Polling in the race alternately showed Raffensperger or Hice in the lead, with large percentages of voters undecided, signaling a close contest.
Raffensperger sparked the ire of Trump by disputing his unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. In audio and a transcript of a phone call shortly after the election that was later published by the Washington Post, Trump tried to pressure Raffensperger to alter the results of the state’s election, which Trump lost. Trump later endorsed Hice in a revenge-fueled effort to drive Raffensperger from office.
Hice ran a bid focused on his Trump endorsement and vowing to “renew election integrity.” Raffensperger also ran on election integrity, seeking to highlight the steps he took in office that he said would safeguard elections while seeking to debunk false claims about the 2020 election.
As a member of Congress, Hice backed Trump’s claims about the election, voting against certifying the election results for Biden.
Trump’s vendetta against lawmakers and election officials who did not back his claims of a stolen election also extended to Georgia Gov. Brain Kemp, who defeated a Trump-backed primary challenger, former Sen. David Purdue. The former senator lost a January 2021 runoff election as Trump worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election.