Nguyen wins Democratic runoff for Georgia secretary of state

Dem. State Rep. of Atlanta Bee Nguyen spoke in opposition to a bill to empower the GBI to handle election investigations during Crossover Day at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Dem. State Rep. of Atlanta Bee Nguyen spoke in opposition to a bill to empower the GBI to handle election investigations during Crossover Day at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Showdown set between Nguyen and Raffensperger

Democrat Bee Nguyen won the Georgia runoff for secretary of state Tuesday, setting up a general election contest against incumbent Republican Brad Raffensperger.

Nguyen, a state representative from Atlanta, easily defeated Dee Dawkins-Haigler, a former state legislator.

Nguyen focused her campaign on voting rights, saying she would fight policies that limit voting access and oppose Raffensperger in the November general election.

“Brad Raffensperger and the Republican Party continue to attack our right to vote because they know they will lose elections if every eligible Georgian casts a ballot,” Nguyen said Tuesday night. “Georgians deserve a secretary of state who will fight for their freedom to vote, regardless of their party, zip code or the color of their skin.

ExploreElection 2022: Complete guide to Georgia’s secretary of state race

While Raffensperger refused Donald Trump’s plea to “find” enough votes to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Nguyen says he supports policies that make it harder for Georgians to cast their ballots, including absentee ballot regulations in the state’s voting law passed last year.

Raffensperger has said he would defend fair elections, as he did when he stood up to Trump.

Nguyen was endorsed by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor against the Republican incumbent, Brian Kemp.

A runoff was needed because none of the five Democrats running for secretary of state received a majority in last month’s primary. Nguyen led the pack with 44% of the vote in the May 24 primary.

Raffensperger won the Republican primary outright without having to compete in a runoff, winning 52% of the vote. Raffensperger defeated four candidates last month, including U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who was endorsed by Trump.