And voters are taking notice of these races. Though Hice does not have election administration experience, he told VICE News he’s “uniquely qualified” for the role due to his work on election issues from the state and federal side.“I'll be the first to admit I will have a lot to learn. I've never been a secretary of state before,” Hice said. “There will be a learning curve. But I know the issues and I know we've got a staff and a team to put together to make sure that the laws of Georgia as it relates to elections are upheld and that those who break the laws suffer the consequences.”In 2020, Trump famously asked Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State of Georgia, to help Trump to steal the election. In a recorded phone call in January 2021, Trump told Raffensperger, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.” Now, Raffensperger is running again—but finds himself facing Hice in a tough primary on May 24 that ultimately gets back to how the secretary of state didn’t help Trump take Georgia. Raffensperger’s approval rating is at 36% with Georgians.
Trump has endorsed three Secretary of State candidates running in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan who all say that Biden did not win in 2020.
Raffensperger also faced targeted harassment directed towards him and his family: A task force launched by the Department of Justice last year has charged at least two people for threatening election workers, including a Texas man suspected of threatening Georgia election workers.
The secretary of state race in Georgia is almost tame compared to a group of candidates running for secretary of state in states like Nevada, Michigan, California, and Arizona.
“If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people,” Chad Stark, the Texas man, wrote in a Craigslist message. “Milita up Georgia it’s time to spill blood.”Raffensperger believes that he was one of the officials that Stark threatened. But he is still reluctant to directly take on Trump. When pressed by VICE News about the former president’s role in the spread of the Big Lie and subsequent threats to Georgia officials, Raffensperger said, “I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, I'm looking forward and I'm looking forward to 2022.”
“You're asking me, ‘OK, no matter what happens in an election, would you certify it?’ Only a moron would say yes.”