Republican lieutenant governor candidates Geoff Duncan, Rick Jeffares and David Shafer participate in an Atlanta Press club debate. Maya T. Prabhu/

David Shafer’s truthfulness questioned during GOP lieutenant governor debate

State Sen. David Shafer, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, was the target of some pointed accusations from his opponents during an Atlanta Press Club debate, with one questioning his honesty. 

“David, you seem to have a problem with the truth,” said former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, a Cumming Republican. “One of your previous opponents has said that you’re allergic to the truth.” 

Duncan went through a list of what he identified as inconsistencies in Shafer’s record, including working against passing legislation to overhaul the state’s adoption system and then campaigning saying he led the fight on the issue.

“You worked to defeat the adoption bill, but yet now try to take credit for its final passage,” Duncan said.

Shafer flatly denied all of Duncan’s claims.

“Not a single one of those things that you said is true,” Shafer said. “I voted twice for the adoption bill. I worked to make it better.”

Shafer also has the most support from Republican voters, according to a recent poll by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Of registered Republicans polled, 14 percent said they would cast their ballot for Shafer. 

Duncan was a close second in the AJC poll, securing support from 12 percent of likely voters. Former state Sen. Rick Jeffares, a Locust Grove Republican, received support from 7 percent of probable voters. The poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Both Duncan and Jeffares asked Shafer to clarify how he makes his money. According to a March 2017 personal financial report filed with the state, Shafer has a net worth of about $5.6 million.

Shafer said he has invested in several businesses, including those that sell liability insurance and a warehousing business he purchased from his father-in-law.

WSB Radio host Sandra Parrish asked Shafer if he supported the “Me Too” movement that aims to hold perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault accountable.

Shafer last month was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee when lawmakers dismissed a sexual harassment complaint filed by a lobbyist. Shafer maintains he did nothing wrong and that the accusations were fabricated.

“It’s a legitimate problem and I frankly welcome the Me Too movement,” he said. “I think it’s tragic that this movement was hijacked by people who are using it for political purposes.”

The APC debate is scheduled to run at 5 p.m. Sunday on Georgia Public Broadcasting.