Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on Monday called for Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State to resign, citing “mismanagement and lack of transparency” and “too many failures in Georgia elections this year” as their reasoning of demand.
In a joint statement, the two Georgia Republican Senators blasted Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for allowing the management of their state’s elections to “become an embarrassment” in the Peach State.
“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so,” Loeffler and Perdue said in a joint statement. “We believe when there are failures, they need to be called out — even when it’s in your own party. There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems.”
“While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State. The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable. The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately,” the joint statement added.
Raffensperger fired back at the Georgia senators’ release, responding in a lengthy statement, calling their accusations of lack of transparency “laughable” while defending his office’s handling of the election. He also reject their calls for his resignation, saying only Georgians are the only one “to fire” him.
“Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation,” Raffensperger wrote in a statement. “Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the ones to fire me. As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.”
He also took a shot at Perdue and Loeffler for their criticism, implying their motive behind their demand is due to Trump is on track to lose the state.
“I know emotions are running high, politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff, and both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President,” Raffensperger said. “But I am the duly elected Secretary of State. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law.”
“The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law. Where there have been specific allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators. We have put a monitor in at Fulton County… one of our longtime problem Democrat-run counties. Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was, and my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely,” Raffensperger continued.
He added, “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”
Statement from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pic.twitter.com/Sf1JIWH5qg— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) November 9, 2020
Perdue and Loeffler are set to face their Democratic challengers in a twin runoff races slated for Jan. 5, 2021 that will determine which party controls the Senate. While it was called that the special election race between Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock will advance to a runoff, major news outlets have not projected that the Senate race between Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff will also advance to a runoff. As of Monday afternoon, Perdue with 98% reported is leading by 88,221 votes with 49.7% to Ossoff 47.9% but has not received more than the 50% of votes needed to prevent a runoff.
Currently, the balance of power has both Democrats and Republicans at 48 seats each. Two races in Alaska and North Carolina have yet to be called as both involving Republican incumbents currently leading. Once declared the winners, Republicans would have secured 50 seats in the Senate, leaving it all on the line in Georgia. If Democrats win both of the twin runoffs in Georgia, assuming Joe Biden wins the White House, then Kamala Harris as Vice President would serve as the tie-breaking 51st vote in the Senate, making it possible for the newly elected to roll back many of Trump effective policies.
Biden remains 12,337 votes ahead of Trump with 98% reported, as no winner has been called by any news organizations. There are less than 40,000 outstanding absentee ballots yet to be counted, but with a slim margin separating Trump and Biden by 0.20%, the state announced Friday it will likely conduct a formal recount before certifying the presidential race.