A Democratic state representative in Georgia has launched a campaign with the hopes of nabbing the job of top elections official in a state where a battle over ballot access has led to restrictive new election laws.
Rep. Bee Nguyen (D) has mounted her campaign as a push against GOP-led efforts to restrict ballot access that she says were meant to punish Democrats for victories in November’s presidential race and Senate runoffs.
“Republicans have done everything in their power to silence the voices of voters who chose an America who works for all of us, not just some of us,” Nguyen said in an announcement video for her candidacy on Monday. “But we will not allow anyone to stand in the way of our right to a free and fair democracy.”
Nguyen, who won the east Atlanta-based House seat vacated by Stacey Abrams in 2017, is now hoping to unseat Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).
Raffensperger was tossed onto the national stage when he became the scapegoat of relentless attacks by former President Donald Trump who tried and failed to rally him to overturn his electoral defeat in the battleground state during last year’s presidential election.
In addition to the Democratic challenge Raffensperger will have to beat back Trump’s revenge effort.
Raffensperger has also dealt with ceaseless troubles within his own party as more than a dozen county GOP groups passed resolutions last month demanding his resignation — calls that he has refused.
Nguyen told the New York Times in an interview that Raffensperger deserved credit for standing up to Trump but said that he has since then largely supported the voting rights law passed by the Legislature in March and continued to represent himself as a Trump supporter even after the former president advanced falsehoods about the Georgia election.
“Watching everything unfold in 2020 with the erosion of our Democracy, I recognized how critically important it was to defend our right to vote,” Nguyen said.
“I believe Georgians deserve better, and can do better,” she added.