Ex-President Donald Trump endorsed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s primary rival, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), on Monday morning in his crusade for revenge against Republicans who refused to steal the 2020 election for him.
“Jody has been a steadfast fighter for conservative Georgia values and is a staunch ally of the America First agenda,” Trump said in a statement. “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity.”
The ex-president tied the endorsement to his ongoing attempt to sow doubt about election integrity, saying he has “100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution.”
Trump’s endorsement came shortly after Hice officially announced his bid for Raffensperger’s seat.
Hice’s unusual decision to run for state-level secretary of state, a position that virtually no sitting member of Congress pursues, signals how the GOP’s war on voting rights has become central to the party’s operations, particularly in Georgia.
“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our country, which is why I am excited to announce my campaign for Georgia Secretary of State. Together, we can renew integrity and secure our elections,” said Hice, who had boosted Trump’s bogus claims that election fraud had rigged the race against him.
Raffensperger, who oversees the Georgia’s vote count, is one of Trump’s top targets in his effort to unseat Republicans who either refused to help him overturn the election results or held him accountable via impeachment for the deadly insurrection he incited on January 6.
The Georgia secretary of state rejected the former president’s attempts to delegitimize the Peach State’s election process with lies about voter fraud after Democratic rival Joe Biden won Georgia in his successful bid to unseat Trump.
Trump also tried to bully Raffensperger with demands to “find” the votes needed to overturn Biden’s victory in a phone call that was leaked to the Washington Post in early January. That call is now at the center of an investigation by Georgia prosecutors into efforts to meddle in the state’s elections.