Democrats in Georgia gave an assist to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in his win in the GOP primary election held on May 24.
Raffensperger defeated Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) by around 27,000, avoiding a runoff by totaling 52.3% of the vote. Hice received 33.4%. According to an analysis by the Associated Press, more than 37,000 people who voted in the Democratic primary in 2020 changed affiliation to vote in this year’s GOP primary instead.
President Trump endorsed Hice, saying, “Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!”
Atlanta Tea Party president Debbie Dooley led an unsuccessful petition drive to prevent non-Republicans from voting in the party primary this year. Even though she expected a good deal of Democrat crossover, she said she did not realize just how heavy it would be.
Diane Murray was one of many Democratic voters who took advantage of Georgia law that allows any voter to participate in any party’s primary to vote against Hice by voting for Raffensberger. She told reporters that even though it “felt like a violation of her core values,” she needed to do it to prevent a “Trump-backed election denier” from becoming the state official in charge of elections.
Murray said that crossing over to vote in the GOP primary “felt icky” and said she did not know if she would do it again.
Another Georgia Democrat movement campaigned to crossover into the GOP primary in an attempt to defeat Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in her primary contest. However, she won by more than 50 percentage points, garnering 69.5% of the vote and easily avoiding a runoff.
Raffensperger campaign consultant Jordan Fuchs claimed that his candidate won because of a “reengagement” by Republicans who sat out primary elections in 2018 and 2020.
Raffensperger told reporters that he “never tried to court Democrats.” He said that he just “states the facts,” and said that many of the previously Democratic voters who likely voted for him are “really lost Republicans.” He said they left the party previously because the message being sent by the GOP “wasn’t attractive to them anymore.”
Raffensperger said that he believes he is demonstrating the “model of how you grow your party back.”