CORDELE, Ga.—Georgia’s incumbent secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (R) has defeated a Trump-backed Congressman in the GOP secretary of state primary election on May 24.
With more than 90 percent of the votes counted at 11:56 p.m. ET, Raffensperger received more than 51 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff against Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.)
The Democratic secretary of state primary was headed for a runoff when The Associated Press projected Raffensperger as the winner of the GOP primary.
Bee Nguyen led the Democratic candidates with 43 percent of the vote. She was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2017 to replace Stacey Abrams. Abrams resigned to focus on her 2018 gubernatorial campaign.
Raffensperger and the winning Democrat will face Libertarian Ted Metz and nonpartisan candidate Brenda Nelson-Porter in the November 8 general election.
Hice was Raffensperger’s top challenger in the Republican primary. Hice, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has criticized Raffensperger’s handling of the 2020 election.
Raffensperger’s office oversees elections, making him a target for ire from Trump and his supporters.
Hice and Trump have said Raffensperger should have done more to investigate claims of election fraud in Georgia.
They’ve said fraud changed the results of the election that removed Trump as president and installed Joe Biden in the White House.
Raffensperger has vigorously defended the record of election integrity in the state.
His frustration over the continued barrage of accusations about stolen elections prompted him to publicly condemn the appointment of Karine Jean-Pierre as White House press secretary four days after she took the role.
Before starting that job, Jean-Pierre frequently argued in social media posts and on cable news appearances that Democrat voting rights activist Stacey Abrams lost her 2018 bid to be Georgia’s governor because the election was stolen.
“By giving a megaphone to individuals who undermine election results they don’t like, President Biden is doing great damage to American democracy,” Raffensperger said in a written statement.
His office now is poised to investigate a complaint filed on Nov. 30 by True the Vote. The work of the Houston nonprofit was detailed in the documentary “2000 Mules,” released earlier this month.
Raffensperger was the first state official to open an investigation into the group’s findings.
The investigation is paused because True the Vote and state officials haven’t reached an agreement on how to protect a whistleblower said to have described a complicated scheme to illegally traffic ballots and deposit them in dropboxes.
On May 24, voters around Georgia told The Epoch Times they believed there had been fraud in the election, and they were angry. But their anger didn’t seem directed at any particular official.