Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won his GOP primary on Tuesday — and narrowly escaped having to participate in a runoff against Jody Hice, the man Trump had picked to defeat him.
CNN and NBC projected Raffensperger as the outright winner early Wednesday morning.
The race was one of the biggest showdowns nationally between a Trump devotee and a man Trump attempted to make persona non grata within the GOP. Hice even quit his job as a member of Congress to serve as Trump’s weapon against Raffensperger.
Raffensperger is perhaps best known in Georgia, and nationally, for resisting Trump’s demand that he “find” the thousands of votes necessary for Trump to steal the 2020 election in Georgia — key evidence of Trump’s election theft campaign, and of Raffensperger’s attempt to insulate his office from the then-president.
Trump endorsed Hice in the secretary of state race more than a year ago, just after Hice announced his campaign. “Unlike the current Georgia secretary of state, Jody leads out front with integrity,” Trump said then.
As a congressman, Hice had objected to certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 victory and sought to have the Supreme Court overturn the election. “This is our 1776 moment,” Hice wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post on the morning of Jan. 6.
The congressman was reportedly involved in efforts to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out Electoral votes from states that voted for Biden.
“Few have done more to cynically undermine faith in our election than Jody Hice,” Raffensperger said upon the news of Trump’s Hice endorsement last year. “Georgia Republicans seeking a candidate who’s accomplished nothing now have one.”