Top Georgia official says GOP candidates' 2020 skepticism fueled by Trump endorsement hope

Top Georgia official says GOP candidates' 2020 skepticism fueled by Trump endorsement hope
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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said fellow Republicans are likely promoting skepticism about the outcome of the 2020 election to score an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

More than eight months later, Trump is still levying claims of a stolen election, despite election authorities assuring no widespread fraud that would overturn the results. This has led Duncan, who is not running for reelection in 2022, to one conclusion about why the former president's allies are rallying behind him.

“The only reason why they continue to embrace that and run for office is because they want Donald Trump's endorsement,” Duncan said in a phone interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “That's all I can rationalize in my mind because it certainly doesn't make sense on paper, certainly doesn't make sense in conversation, [and] it certainly doesn't doesn't have any merit to it.”

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It is “unfortunate that somebody would water down their leadership vision” to get Trump’s support, he said.

“I think it's equally, if not more troubling, that one individual would want to be in that position to send people off in the wrong direction just for the fact that he would be able to offer them his endorsement,” he added.

Following the 2020 presidential election, Trump's campaign and allies contested the election results in various battleground states he lost, but their efforts were largely rejected by the courts. Since then, many Republicans are pinning their hopes on a partisan audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, and possible copycats in other states to find problems in the election.

Georgia is one of these states. Top officials — Gov. Brian Kemp, Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — are all Republicans who defended the state's election outcome, despite pressure from the former president and his supporters.

Trump even urged Raffensperger to “find” the number of votes sufficient to overturn President Joe Biden's victory in the state, according to a call now under scrutiny as part of a criminal investigation in Fulton County.

Trump, who has not said whether he will run again in 2024 but has turned his attention to the 2022 midterm elections, declared he would endorse a primary challenger running against Kemp and Raffensperger.

The former president has not yet weighed in on Kemp’s race. However, Vernon Jones, a Republican state representative who switched parties earlier this year, has repeatedly amplified allegations of election wrongdoing and called for an Arizona-style audit.

Trump endorsed Rep. Jody Hice, who is facing Raffensperger in the primary election, and the Georgia lawmaker touted his skepticism about the election in his campaign announcement.

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Additionally, Sen. Butch Miller, a Republican, is running to replace Duncan. However, Trump said he won’t be “supporting or endorsing him” because of “his refusal to work with other Republican Senators on voter fraud and irregularities in the State. Hopefully there will be strong and effective primary challengers for the very important Lieutenant Governor position!"

State Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican on the Senate Government Oversight Committee, urged committee chairman Sen. Marty Harbin to call Raffensperger to testify about a litany of election-related problems emerging in recent weeks. He, too, is expected to enter the race for lieutenant governor in the next few weeks, according to a source familiar with the situation.

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Tags: News, Georgia, Donald Trump, Brian Kemp, 2020 Elections, Joe Biden, 2022 Elections

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Top Georgia official says GOP candidates' 2020 skepticism fueled by Trump endorsement hope

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