Trump backs GOP challenger to Georgia secretary of state

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Washington — Former President Donald Trump announced Monday he is endorsing GOP Congressman Jody Hice of Georgia in his campaign to unseat the state’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was a target of attacks by Mr. Trump after he refused to reverse the outcome of the presidential election in the state.

Hice, who represents Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, announced Monday he would run for secretary of state and claimed Raffensperger created “cracks in the integrity of our elections.”

In a statement endorsing Hice, Mr. Trump praised Hice as a “steadfast fighter for conservative Georgia values” and “staunch ally” of his agenda.

“I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution,” the former president said. “Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections! Jody loves the people of Georgia, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

In the weeks after the presidential election, Raffensperger rejected pressure from Mr. Trump to overturn the state’s results and certified President Biden as the winner of the presidential race after a hand recount. He also vehemently defended the integrity of Georgia’s election over unfounded claims of voter fraud by the former president. Mr. Trump is under investigation by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, over his alleged attempts to influence the results of the state’s presidential election, including during a January 2 phone call with Raffensperger.

Hice, meanwhile, was a defender of Mr. Trump in the House and echoed the former president’s baseless accusations of election fraud. He was among the Republicans who objected to electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania after the pro-Trump mob mounted their violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an effort to stop Congress from tallying the electoral votes and reaffirming Mr. Biden’s win.

Hice also backed a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas with the Supreme Court that sought to invalidate election results in four battleground states, including Georgia. The high court, however, rejected the bid from Texas.

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