Duncan pushes back on false voter fraud claims: ‘We’re better than this’

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

‘My hope is that we move past this,’ says the lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan aligned himself with Georgia Republican officials who drew President Donald Trump’s wrath when he warned that the GOP risks “alienating voters” by spreading misinformation about voter fraud.

The lieutenant governor became the highest-profile Republican to defend Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after Trump blasted both for refusing his demands to interfere with the results of Georgia’s election over false claims of a “rigged” outcome.

In an appearance on CNN late Monday, Duncan said he was “concerned about the amount of misinformation that continues to fly around” involving President-elect Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia, which made him the first Democratic nominee to carry the state since 1992.

“It troubles me that some folks are willing, just for the sole intent of flipping an election, of spreading misinformation,” said Duncan, who spoke of friends who sent him pro-Trump conspiracy theories that took him seconds to debunk.

“I think we’re better than this. My hope is that we move past this here in Georgia and as a country.”

Duncan has previously echoed Raffensperger by asserting there’s no credible evidence of widespread fraud in Georgia’s election, which Trump lost by roughly 12,000 votes.

But his comments Monday were more direct and came after Trump said he was “ashamed” of endorsing Kemp and criticized him for refusing to use his non-existent “emergency powers” to overturn the certification of the election.

(Kemp said he was following state law and has no power to “interfere” with election results.)

He’s one of only a handful of Republican officials who have publicly defended Kemp and Raffensperger. Some have amplified Trump’s false claims. Some have remained silent, fearful of antagonizing the president and his supporters, some of whom have leveled death threats against Raffensperger.

In the interview, Duncan praised Kemp for his “steadfast and strong” leadership through the pandemic and resulting economic fallout.

And he called Raffensperger a “rockstar conservative” – a sharp contrast from the cascade of criticism from other Republicans, including U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who both called on him to resign.

“This guy is a solid individual who is extremely successful in the private sector, and he comes to work everyday and does the right thing,” Duncan said of Raffensperger. “Just because the guy that we all three voted for isn’t in the lead, it doesn’t change any of our job descriptions.”

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