It’s been four months since Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resisted Donald Trump’s admonition to “find 11,780 votes” and flip the results of the 2020 presidential election in his favor over Joe Biden. The twice-impeached, one-term former president is still plenty mad about being told “no” by Raffensperger and on Monday he endorsed a super-loyal Georgia congressman who announced his candidacy to replace him.
Jody Hice represents Georgia’s 10th congressional district and is a staunch ally of Trump. In January he condemned the House of Representatives’ second impeachment of Trump as “misguided.” In a now-deleted Instagram post just hours before the deadly Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot on Capitol Hill Hice wrote, “This is our 1776 moment.”
He also supported and helped spread the former president’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. Hice also served alongside then-Rep. Mark Meadows from North Carolina in the GOP’s Freedom Caucus.
Just minutes after Hice announced he would challenge Raffensperger in next year’s Republican primary Trump issued a statement praising him as “one of our most outstanding congressman.” Trump also said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. Jody will stop the fraud and get honesty into our elections.”
Trump’s endorsement also could have been triggered by his desire to try to short circuit the investigation begun by Raffensperger into Trump’s efforts to tamper with the Georgia election results. Raffensperger has confirmed that his office has launched that investigation. Trump also is under investigation by the Fulton County district attorney’s office for potential election tampering.