Georgia GOP official refuses to resign after judge rules he voted illegally

‘My credibility is intact,’ Brian K. Pritchard tells the AJC after U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, other Donald Trump loyalists call for vice chair to step down.
Brian K. Pritchard, the first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, has resisted calls to step down after a judge ruled he voted illegally in Georgia nine times. (Hyosub Shin /

Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

Brian K. Pritchard, the first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, has resisted calls to step down after a judge ruled he voted illegally in Georgia nine times. (Hyosub Shin /

A senior Georgia GOP official is defying calls from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republicans to step down after a judge ruled he violated state election laws when he voted nine times while serving probation for a felony check forgery sentence.

Brian K. Pritchard, the state party’s first vice chairman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the demands that he resign were “sensationalized” after an administrative law judge ruled last week that he must pay a $5,000 fine and face a reprimand.

The judge’s findings have fueled calls of hypocrisy targeting Pritchard and other Donald Trump loyalists who promoted election fraud conspiracy theories about the 2020 election despite recounts, court cases and investigations that have consistently debunked fraud claims.

Pritchard said in the interview that he has offered “full transparency” about his past, that he briefed statewide party leaders shortly after he won the post in June and discussed it in direct conservations with dozens of county and district leaders.

“I haven’t broken the rules, I didn’t mislead the leadership,” said Pritchard, a conservative online radio host. “If they felt something needed to be done, they haven’t let me know.”

The violations have fueled a fresh rift within the state GOP, which is already struggling with tension between Trump’s supporters and the more mainstream conservatives who competed for control of the organization.

Gov. Brian Kemp and his key allies have thrown their support behind a political organization outside the Georgia GOP that the second-term Republican launched to boost his reelection campaign and help down-ticket candidates win.

And some Republicans have groused that the Georgia GOP has spent more than $1 million on legal fees for a former chairman and two other Trump electors charged in Fulton County’s election interference trial.

Pritchard, like several other top Georgia GOP officials, still falsely claims Trump beat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. He repeated that claim in the AJC interview: “I say it every day. Trump won the election.”

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, has called on the Georgia GOP's first vice chairman, Brian K.  Pritchard, to step down from the party post after a judge ruled that he voted illegally in Georgia nine times. (Arvin Temkar /

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

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Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

It’s unclear whether the party will take steps to remove Pritchard. State GOP Chair Josh McKoon, who has so far remained neutral, declined to comment. But the criticism by Greene, one of Trump’s top Georgia loyalists, escalated the pressure.

“Our state party should be the leading voice on securing our elections,” said Greene, who called on Pritchard to resign immediately. “It is unacceptable for our party to have a man in leadership who has repeatedly committed voter fraud himself.”

Democrats, meanwhile, gleefully noted that a GOP official who falsely trumpeted that the 2020 election was “stolen” is now himself in legal hot water over his own voting record.

“After three years of Trump crying ‘fraud’ about the 2020 election, a court finally found someone who did commit it,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin.

‘My credibility is intact’

The violations center on a decades-old felony sentence that drew considerable attention during Pritchard’s run for a North Georgia-based state House seat in 2023 and his bid for party office in June.

He pleaded guilty in 1996 to forgery and theft charges involving $38,000 worth of checks that he deposited while working on a construction job in Allegheny County, Penn., according to court records.

Pritchard testified in February that he believed his felony sentence ended in 1999, but attorneys for the state showed evidence that his probation had been repeatedly revoked and extended until 2011. Georgia law prohibits felons from voting until they’ve completed their sentences.

Pritchard registered to vote in Georgia in 2008 and cast ballots in nine elections before his probation was over, according to election records presented in court. He said after the hearing that he felt his probation had “ended” and didn’t knowingly violate the law.

He echoed that in the AJC interview.

“My credibility is intact. There’s a major difference in being aware of something and unaware of something,” Pritchard said. “I never thought for one minute I was breaking any laws in 2008 — period.”

Pritchard’s probation initially lasted three years, but Pennsylvania judges repeatedly extended it until 2011 on allegations Pritchard failed to pay restitution, court records showed. Pritchard maintained that he didn’t owe money and he thought that case was resolved.

Conservative talk show host Brian K. Pritchard, a candidate for the Georgia House, is accused of voting illegally nine times while serving a felony sentence. (Screenshot)

Credit: Screenshot

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Credit: Screenshot

Attorneys for the state said in court that Pritchard knew he was still serving his sentence because records show he appeared in Pennsylvania court for probation revocation hearings in 1999, 2002 and 2004. Pritchard denied that he was present in court in 2002 or 2004.

“When he came to Georgia, he was aware that he was registering to vote illegally,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard said in February. “He knew when he went in all nine times and signed that voter certificate, he was voting illegally.”

In the interview, Pritchard said he’s worked feverishly to help elect conservative candidates throughout the state and is a stalwart attendee of Georgia GOP events since his election. He said he’s been flooded with messages encouraging him to stay in office.

“Credibility is not based on what you’ve done. It’s based on how you handle what you’ve done. And I’ve been transparent. I’ve atoned for what happened in 1996,” he said. “And now I’m working every single day to help Donald J. Trump be the next president.”

Staff writer Mark Niesse contributed to this article.