x

Politics

Trump Endorses Challenger Against Georgia Elections Chief

ATLANTA — Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a conservative Georgia congressman in his bid to unseat the Republican secretary of state who refused to help overturn the November election results.

Rep. Jody Hice, a tea party favorite and Trump acolyte, is the first major challenger to Brad Raffensperger since the secretary of state certified President Joe Biden's narrow victory in Georgia and disputed Trump's false allegations of fraud. 

Trump's endorsement marks his most direct attempt at retribution against those he blames for his loss and reaffirms his continued influence over the Republican Party.

"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 that repeated the unsupported allegations of fraud. "Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution."

Raffensperger declined comment through a spokesperson.

Hice didn't mention Trump in his announcement but has said previously that he expected the former president's support. Trump has said separately that he also wants to help defeat Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, another Republican, in 2022.

"Every Georgian, in fact every American, has the right to be outraged by the actions and, simultaneously, the inaction of our Secretary of State," Hice said in a statement Monday.

The former president has made clear his intentions to target Raffensperger and Kemp, also a Republican, for their parts in ratifying Biden's victory.

"I'll be here in a year in a half campaigning against your governor and your crazy secretary of state," Trump said at a Georgia rally on Jan. 4, the eve of two Senate runoffs that Democrats swept to win control of the chamber.

Both Kemp and Raffensperger have said they were simply following the state's election law and fulfilling their required duties.

The developments Monday drew immediate plaudits from the right. 

"The establishment still doesn't get how popular Trump is with the base, but they will," said Debbie Dooley, an early tea party organizer and Trump ally who is close to Hice. "We've known Raffensperger was dead, and Jody can excite the base and raise money. This is a serious challenge."

No heavyweight primary opponent has emerged yet against Kemp. Some Georgia Republicans are looking to former Rep. Doug Collins as Trump conservatives' ideal challenger. But those close to Collins, one of Trump's most high-profile House defenders during impeachment proceedings, say he is more likely to make another bid for the Senate after his unsuccessful campaign last year in a special election ultimately won by Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat. 

Collins was Trump's choice in 2019 for a Senate vacancy, opened by Republican Johnny Isakson's retirement. But Kemp opted for Kelly Loeffler. Collins finished third in a jungle primary behind Warnock and Loeffler last November before Warnock prevailed in a runoff. 

Hice has not cut as high a profile since his election in 2014 as Collins did, but the 60-year-old has been a loyal Trump lieutenant. He was part of a group of Republican officials in Georgia who relentlessly pushed Trump's false claims of voter fraud last fall. He endorsed a lawsuit filed by Texas against Georgia and other battleground states seeking to overturn Biden's victory in the U.S. Supreme Court — a suit the high court rejected — and he objected to the certification of Electoral College votes even after a pro-Trump mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol. ___

Associated Press reporter Ben Nadler contributed to this story. 

RELATED

WASHINGTON — Jurors who will decide whether to convict Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four associates of seditious conspiracy resumed deliberations Monday in the high-stakes trial stemming from the U.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Starts to Erupt, Sending Ash Nearby (Video)

HONOLULU — Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has started to erupt for the first time in nearly four decades, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.

NEW YORK — Days after flocking to stores on Black Friday, consumers are turning online for Cyber Monday to score more discounts on gifts and other items that have ballooned in price because of high inflation.

HOUSTON — More than 2 million people in the Houston area were under a boil order notice Monday after a power outage caused low pressure at a water purification plant, officials said.

For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead.

ATHENS - Greece is rapidly emerging as the key gateway for natural gas in Southeastern Europe, with projects such as the TAP pipeline, the LNG terminal in Revythoussa and the FSRUs in Alexandroupolis, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said on Monday, addressing the voria.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.