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Raffensperger fends off Trump-backed primary challenge in Georgia

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) is expected to survive an aggressive primary challenge Tuesday, by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who had the backing of former President Trump, in his bid for his job as the state’s top election official.

ABC News and CNN both mentioned the race around 12:20 p.m. ET.

Raffensperger has emerged as a vocal critic of Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss in Georgia, drawing both the former president’s ire and a field of primary challengers.

Hice, a staunch ally of Trump, focused his campaign on the former president’s false claim that the 2020 election had been stolen and that officials like Raffensperger were leaving massive voter fraud unchecked. In reality, there is no evidence that the elections have been tainted by fraud.

In a January 2021 phone call, Trump suggested to Raffensperger that he could “find” enough votes to undo President Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger refused and immediately became a symbol of Republican resistance to the former president’s attempts to undermine the democratic process.

Trump also targeted Governor Brian Kemp (R) after rejecting his pleas to undo the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

Raffensperger never gave in to pressure from his main rivals or Trump and vigorously defended his record as Secretary of State. At the same time, he has drawn anger out of the aisle by violating a new Georgia electoral law that Democrats released as an attempt by the GOP to suppress turnout among people of color.

Raffensperger’s win on Tuesday is another blow to Trump and his reputation as a kingmaker among Republican candidates. Trump also endorsed former Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) primary challenge to Kemp.

On the Democratic side, five candidates are running for the nomination to take on Raffensperger in November: State Representative Bee Nguyen, State Senator Floyd Griffin, former Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, former Cobb County Democratic Party Chairman Michael Owens and former state representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler.