Georgia official: Election challenges ‘handing off a playbook to Democrats’ for Senate runoff

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said Sunday that he worries that President Trump’s election challenges are “handing off a playbook to the Democrats” for the Jan. 5 runoff elections for the U.S. Senate.

“I worry that this continuous fanning of the flames around misinformation puts us in a negative position with regard to the Jan. 5 runoff,” said Mr. Duncan, a Republican, on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process. They’re only hurting it. I worry that we’re handing off a playbook to the Democrats for Jan. 5.”

He added that “I can’t think of a worse playbook to hand off over the four or five weeks to the Democrats.”

Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are seeking reelection in the runoff races, the result of which will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Duncan, who said he campaigned and voted for Mr. Trump, said he was of two minds about the president’s rally Saturday night in Valdosta, Georgia, aimed at boosting the Republican senators.

“I think the rally last night was kind of a two-part message. The first part was very encouraging: to listen to the president champion the conservative strategies of Sens. Loeffler and Perdue and the importance of them being reelected,” Mr. Duncan said. “The second message was concerning to me.”

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to decertify the election results in Georgia, arguing that fraud and election irregularities changed the result of the race, which was recently called for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden after a manual recount.

Mr. Trump on Saturday called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to ask him to call a special session of the state legislature, but Mr. Duncan said that “calling the General Assembly back in at this point would almost be along the lines of a solution trying to find a problem.”

“We’re going to continue to follow the letter of the law,” Mr. Duncan said.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>After Trump pressured Georgia's governor to help overturn Biden's win in the state, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says the President "did not win the state of Georgia": "As the lieutenant governor and a Georgian, I'm proud that we can see that this election was fair" <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CNNSOTU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CNNSOTU</a> <a href=”https://t.co/kxqFtRRGp2”>pic.twitter.com/kxqFtRRGp2</a></p>— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) <a href=”https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/1335595041738383364?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>December 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8”></script>

After Mr. Kemp tweeted that he has called for ballot signature audits, Mr. Trump responded, “But you never got the signature verification! Your people are refusing to do what you ask. What are they hiding? At least immediately ask for a Special Session of the Legislature. That you can easily, and immediately, do.”

Mr. Duncan defended the process in Georgia and said that Mr. Biden, who has been declared the winner in Georgia, would be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

“The troubling part to this is I think, short term, this chaos creates some doubt around Jan. 5: Are we going to get enough Republicans to show up to vote?” Mr. Duncan asked. “But longer term, I think it potentially hurts our message as we try to figure out, where do we go from here as a Republican Party?”

 

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