Home Crime Trump ally vows to block ‘the left’ from overseeing key Georgia elections – The Guardian

Trump ally vows to block ‘the left’ from overseeing key Georgia elections – The Guardian

Trump ally vows to block ‘the left’ from overseeing key Georgia elections – The Guardian

Former senator David Perdue, now running for Georgia governor, repeats false election fraud claims on campaign trail
Last modified on Thu 10 Feb 2022 16.45 EST
A Republican candidate for governor in Georgia has said he would not let “any of the left” run elections in his state, adding repeatedly that it would happen “over my dead body” and underscoring the violent tone that has come to shape discourse around democracy in America.
Former Senator David Perdue railed against his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, in a video of a speech given on 4 February in Fayette county. Abrams, a voting rights activist, would be the first Black governor in the state’s history if elected.

Perdue, who has been endorsed by Donald Trump, told his supporters: “My vision for Georgia is this: over my dead body would I ever, ever turn an election process over to Stacey Abrams or any of that woke mob ever again.”
At another campaign event in Alpharetta, Georgia, Perdue repeated the “over my dead body” line,saying: “Over my dead body will we ever turn over an election to any of the left that we saw happening in 2020.”
The Purdue campaign did not respond to a Guardian request for comment.
The Georgia governor’s race is among the most closely-watched elections this year and a likely key battleground in the upcoming 2024 election. It played a vital role in president Joe Biden’s 2020 victory as he flipped the state, and it was also crucial to winning Democratic control of the senate when the party won two run-off elections there.
That outsized role has seen Georgia become a ground zero for the national fight over voting rights and for Republicans’ baseless claims that the state’s election process was somehow fraudulent. It has also sparked a fierce fight for the office of the secretary of state, which helps run Georgia’s elections. The seat is currently held by Republican Brad Raffensperger.
Perdue is one of 51 election deniers running for governor in 24 states, according to tracking by the States United Action , a non-partisan organization that monitors elections.
Perdue lost his Senate seat in a runoff to Democrat John Ossoff last January. Now Perdue is running in the Republican primary against the incumbent Republican governor, Brian Kemp, who earned Trump’s ire after certifying Georgia’s election results, a process he was legally bound to uphold as governor.
Perdue has earned Trump’s endorsement by expressing fierce loyalty and echoing the former president’s baseless claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election. In December Perdue went further and told Axios he wouldn’t have certified the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time.
The same month, Perdue joined a lawsuit in Fulton county, Georgia, reviving unfounded allegations of voter fraud and seeking to review absentee ballots that he claimed would prove Trump won the 2020 election.
Several recounts of the presidential vote affirmed Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger had also resisted pressure by Trump in an hour-long phone call in 2020 to “find” enough votes to overturn the election. Trump has now endorsed Raffensperger’s Republican opponent for secretary of state.
Perdue is promising voters that if elected he will create “an election law enforcement division of the Georgia bureau of investigation”, the state’s criminal investigation agency, to ensure that only legal votes are counted.
Trump falsely claimed 5,000 dead people voted in 2020 in Georgia, but a state review found only four cases of dead people voting.
Perdue is already outlining how he would change the way elections are certified if he was elected. “I believe that before you can certify an election, whether it’s a president or a US senator, or a statewide basis, you have to have an outside third-party entity audit the results. Not the secretary of state,” Perdue told voters in Fayette, adding that he believed allowing the secretary of state to certify and audit elections was “sort of like you grading your own homework”.
Perdue’s use of violent rhetoric comes on the heels of an unprecedented campaign of intimidation against election officials. A Reuters investigation found more 100 threats of death or violence to US election workers.
It also comes as the Republican party increasingly embraces Trump’s “big lie” of a fraudulent election. In a recent poll only 21% of Republicans said they believed Joe Biden’s election was “legitimate”.Last week the RNC voted to declare the January 6 attack “legitimate political discourse’ and censured the Republican representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating in the House’s investigation into the attack.



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