County GOPs Across Georgia Drift Further To The Right In The Post-Trump Era

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at Richard B. Russell Airport in Rome, Georgia on November 1, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/... TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at Richard B. Russell Airport in Rome, Georgia on November 1, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 19, 2021 11:22 a.m.

Over the weekend, a spate of county Republican parties in Georgia showed their devotion to former President Donald Trump by punishing officials deemed insufficiently loyal to him. 

Republican delegates in a handful of counties passed resolutions condemning Governor Brian Kemp (R) for not doing enough to help Trump overturn the 2020 election, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kemp has vociferously defended his state’s recently passed restrictive voter laws, a seeming attempt to make up ground with his right-wing constituents ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial election — a potential rematch with voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams. Kemp will also face Democrat-turned-Trump-supporter Vernon Jones in the Republican primary, a devoted disciple of Trump’s election fraud lie.

But the parties’ anger rippled out even beyond Kemp, to other stalwart Republicans who hadn’t incurred Trump’s wrath. 

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After some of the biggest county parties — Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett —elected hardcore pro-Trump officials to leadership roles, Fulton took it a step further and denied delegate spots to such dependable Republicans as former Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA) and Trump’s own former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. They were denied the slots ostensibly because they weren’t at the meeting, per the AJC. 

Georgia is not the only state to watch its county parties become Trumpified amid the 2020 fallout. 

State parties across the country censured Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on the receiving end of significant heat. The Oregon GOP actually released a resolution condemning all 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former President, despite the fact that none of them represent Oregon, comparing the lawmakers to Benedict Arnold. 

Both the Hawaii and Texas GOPs have also winked at the QAnon conspiracy, which holds that Trump will come roaring back to power, sending his Democratic enemies to jail or their deaths. 

The Republican parties in Georgia also went after election officials like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a common trend in the post-election backlash. 

The state GOP in Nevada censured Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske last week for not doing enough to uphold Trump’s lie that the election was stolen. 

“My job is to carry out the duties of my office as enacted by the Nevada Legislature, not carry water for the state GOP or put my thumb on the scale of democracy,” she responded in a statement.

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