Shafer, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, hasn’t formally announced yet but his allies say he is likely to do so soon.
‘A mess.’ Georgia politicians prepare for brutal 2022 battles
The fractious but powerful state GOP organization is coming off a record-breaking fundraising cycle thanks to the epic Senate runoff campaigns, which ended with the defeats of Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in races dominated by former President Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his defeat in Georgia.
But the battle does not appear, at least yet, to revolve around a divide over Trump’s legacy.
Shafer endorsed Trump’s sham narrative of widespread voting fraud in Georgia and filed a lawsuit alleging the improper counting of ballots. He also engineered a vote of a shadow slate of GOP electors on the same day Democrats formally approved the state’s 16 electoral votes for President Joe Biden in case Trump’s challenge prevailed.
And Shepherd was a plaintiff in the error-riddled lawsuit filed by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell that sought to nullify Georgia’s election results. The lawsuit was quickly dismissed in courts of every level, along with other legal challenges seeking to invalidate Biden’s victory.
Instead, Shepherd’s platform will center on uniting a divided party that has suffered grievous defeats, even in his own backyard: Cobb has swung increasingly Democratic since Trump’s 2016 election and is now a key cornerstone of the party’s coalition in 2022.
A newly elected Cobb County GOP chairman Jason Shepherd stands with fellow officers on Saturday -- photo via Shepherd's Facebook page.
Credit: Jim Galloway
Credit: Jim Galloway
Shepherd, a college professor and attorney, invoked the likelihood of Stacey Abrams’ expected run for governor in his campaign announcement. He also promised to bolster training for local activists and empower grassroots leaders to be more involved in the party’s decision-making process.
“Voters have stopped voting for our Republican candidates because they are confused about what we believe in,” he said in a statement. “We’ve substituted tactics for message and voters don’t understand what we stand for anymore.”