Trump sent a press release saying Miller refused “to work with other Republican Senators on voter fraud and irregularities in the state.”
Trump called on “strong and effective” challengers to enter the Republican primary.
“I’ve fought for election integrity, I’ve fought for conservative values, and you can be damn sure I’ll keep the fight going,” Miller said in a statement. “I’m confident that when Georgia voters get a chance to compare my conservative record and character to my opponents I’ll be in good shape.”
Republican state Sen. Burt Jones of Jackson, a wealthy oil executive who has angled for Trump’s support, is expected to get in the race for lieutenant governor. Republican activist Jeanne Seaver also announced her intent to run for the office earlier this year.
Miller has repeatedly touted the state’s new voting law that passed this year in response to Trump’s calls of widespread voter fraud, often speaking of his pride in stepping in to preside in the Senate when Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan refused to take part in the debate. Miller, who recently announced raising nearly $2 million in the first five weeks of his campaign, has been an adamant supporter of the bill in the months since.
But his name was absent from a list of Georgia Republican lawmakers who signed an amicus brief filed in support of a failed attempt by Texas officials to sue Georgia and other states in December over their election results.
Among the names on that list was Jones, who also visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida this spring.
Since the November election, Jones has promoted Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. On Tuesday he received a hero’s welcome at a rally where most, if not all, in attendance believed conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from Trump.
Jones also was recently honored by Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer with a “Warrior Award,” citing his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In the months since he left office, Trump has remained the clear leader of the party, with some polls showing his favorability ratings improving in recent months.
When Miller announced his candidacy in May, he said he thought Trump would be “favorable” to his candidacy, too, but said he would run for the job regardless.
“Whoever wins the primary needs to remember they have to win in November or it’s all for nothing. And that’s the key: I can win in November,” Miller said then. “I don’t care who gets in this race other than Jesus. If he gets in, I’m out.”