12/14/2020 – Atlanta, Georgia – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta on Monday, December 14, 2020 (Alyssa Pointer / [email protected] .com)
Seeking revenge, Trump has repeatedly pledged to wield his immense influence in the Georgia GOP to personally campaign against Raffensperger and endorsed U.S. Representative Jody Hice, a loyalist with a long history of promoting the lies of the former president on the electoral system.
Nguyen and other Democrats in the state, meanwhile, have pledged to repay themselves after a Republican-backed election law is passed that places new restrictions on voting, including identity requirements. for mail-in ballots and no more limits on the availability of drop boxes.
The rewrite was prompted in part by Trump’s false statements about last year’s election results, when Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. Election officials have told several occasions that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in these contests, and three separate tallies confirmed Biden’s victory.
Nguyen’s entry squeezes Raffensperger even further, who now has to face sustained criticism from a prominent Democratic challenger as well as relentless supporters of opponents and critics within his own party.
Illustrating his challenge, more than a dozen county GOP groups passed resolutions in meetings across the state last month, demanding Raffensperger’s resignation.
He refused those calls and pledged to stay the course, counting that he can rehabilitate his image with the Conservatives by next year and capitalize on fractured GOP opposition. Two other Republicans, former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and former Treutlen County Estates Judge TJ Hudson, are also increasingly picky.
Jody Hice wins re-election to US House in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District
On the other side of the political ledger, Nguyen hopes to quickly consolidate Democratic support and avoid a bad primary. But it’s still unclear whether she’ll clear the field, and other Democrats have launched possible campaigns for the seat.
The daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Nguyen was raised in Augusta and founded a nonprofit called Athena’s Warehouse before winning the seat of the East Atlanta-based House, vacated by Stacey Abrams in 2017 while ‘she was running for governor.
Nguyen – whose last name is pronounced “winner” – became only the second Asian-American Democrat in the Statehouse, and quickly established herself as a franchise advocate.
She helped rally Democrats’ efforts to roll back an “exact match” recording that sparked controversy midway through 2018. And her allusion to a false pro-Trump claim of many “illegal votes” by the Agent Matt Braynard at a legislative hearing in December has gone viral. During a 12-minute interaction, she showed how calls, simple online searches and home visits by Georgians on an allegedly fraudulent vote list proved they were legitimate.
01/03/2021 —Atlanta, Georgia – Representative Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta) addresses protesters during a protest against HB 531 outside the Georgia State Capitol Building on day 25 of the legislative session in Atlanta, on Monday March 1, 2021 (Alyssa Pointer / [email protected])
More recently, Nguyen and other AAPI lawmakers emerged as a voice for their communities after a white gunman shot dead eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three subway spas in Atlanta. When Biden came to Atlanta in March to console grieving members of the community, Nguyen was one of the few leaders who met with him privately to share the concerns of the Asian-American community.
If Nguyen is elected, she would become just the second Asian American to win a statewide post – and the first to win a political post. Georgia Supreme Court Judge Carla Wong McMillian became the first statewide Asian American to win in 2014 when she was elected to the appeals bench.
Nguyen said she would use her platform to advocate for stronger training of polling officers and demand the return of new voting restrictions which she says are aimed squarely at punishing Democrats for their victories in the election. the presidential race in November and the second round of the US Senate in January.
“Republicans have done everything in their power to silence the voices of voters who have chosen an America that works for all of us, not just some of us,” Nguyen said. “But we will not allow anyone to oppose our right to a free and fair democracy.”
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter covering governor’s office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.