Jody Hice, a Republican congressman, introduced Monday a run in opposition to the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, who refused to overturn the state’s Nov. 3 election outcomes, and former President Donald J. Trump instantly endorsed the brand new candidate.
Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Mr. Hice is probably the most distinguished effort the previous president and his aides have made to attempt to punish elected officers who they consider crossed Mr. Trump. Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican, is among the many prime targets for Mr. Trump, together with the state’s governor, Brian Kemp.
In a press release issued shortly after Mr. Hice introduced his candidacy, Mr. Trump praised him as “considered one of our most excellent congressmen,” and alluded to his personal baseless claims of voter fraud, which he has mentioned disadvantaged him of victory within the state. “Not like the present Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out entrance with integrity,’’ Mr. Trump mentioned, including “Jody will cease the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!’’
Mr. Raffensperger and different Georgia election officers licensed President Biden’s victory after conducting a number of recounts, and have mentioned the outcomes are honest and correct.
Mr. Hice, who represents Georgia’s tenth congressional district, stretching south and east from Atlanta, is a Trump loyalist who in January condemned the second Home impeachment of the previous president as “misguided” and aimed toward “scoring low cost political factors.” Within the weeks after the November election, he supported Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud, together with a problem earlier than the Supreme Courtroom that sought to overturn the ends in states Mr. Trump lost.
Mr. Hice additionally served within the Home Freedom Caucus with former Rep. Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s fourth and final chief of employees.
As he seeks to retain management of the Republican Social gathering, Mr. Trump is set to stay a kingmaker for down-ballot elections, whereas looking for retribution in opposition to these he perceives as having betrayed him. Up to now, he has endorsed just one different candidate operating in opposition to somebody he feels personally aggrieved by: Max Miller, a former White Home aide, who’s at present difficult Consultant Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican representing Ohio’s sixth congressional district. Mr. Gonzalez was considered one of 10 Home members who voted for Mr. Trump’s impeachment.
Mr. Hice’s problem — in opposition to a Trump nemesis in a crucial swing state — might be a extra high-profile check of Mr. Trump’s political clout amongst Republicans.
The transfer to again Mr. Hice in opposition to the sitting lawyer common can also be extraordinary provided that Mr. Raffensperger has confirmed his workplace is investigating Mr. Trump’s makes an attempt to affect the election, together with the cellphone name the previous president made to him. Mr. Trump can also be underneath investigation by Fulton County prosecutors into whether or not he and others tried to improperly affect the election.
Mr. Raffensperger was on the receiving finish of a now-infamous name in early January, by which Mr. Trump pushed baseless claims of widespread irregularities and requested the secretary of state to “discover’’ sufficient votes to reverse the win for President Biden.
“All I need to do is that this: I simply need to discover 11,780 votes, which is yet one more than we’ve, as a result of we gained the state,” Mr. Trump mentioned through the name.
Mr. Raffensperger repeatedly advised him his knowledge was unsuitable. “We have now to face by our numbers,” Mr. Raffensperger mentioned. “We consider our numbers are proper.”
Mr. Trump, when he had a Twitter feed, repeatedly attacked Mr. Raffensperger for not acceding to his calls for.