Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice announced an intraparty challenge Monday against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Hice, who represents Georgia’s 10th congressional district, accused Raffensperger of undermining election confidence, and pledged to restore it if elected in 2022. The challenge follows President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state and Raffensperger’s repeated assertions that the election was free of voter fraud, despite former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election tampering.
“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our country,” Hice said in his announcement. “What Brad Raffensperger did was create cracks in the integrity of our elections, which I wholeheartedly believe individuals took advantage of in 2020.”
“If elected, I will instill confidence in our election process by upholding the Georgia Constitution, enforcing meaningful reform and aggressively pursuing those who commit voter fraud,” he added.
Hice, a member of the House Freedom Caucus and ally of Trump, partook in multiple efforts to overturn the presidential election. Hice and over 100 Republican lawmakers joined a Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victories in multiple states, and voted to object to the electoral college results following the Capitol riot on Jan 6.
Raffensperger came under harsh Republican criticism following his reassurance that the state’s results were accurate and that Trump’s assertions of widespread fraud were factually wrong. He also suggested that the former president could face criminal charges after a phone call between the two surfaced where Trump pressured Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn Biden’s victory.
Trump in January vowed to take political revenge against Raffensperger and Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who also acknowledged that Biden’s victory was free of any widespread fraud.
“I’ll be here in about a year and a half campaigning against your governor,” Trump said ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs on Jan. 5. “I guarantee it.”
Trump endorsed Hice shortly after his announcement, calling him “a staunch ally of the America First agenda.”
“Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity,” Trump said. “I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution.”
“Jody loves the people of Georgia, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” he concluded.