Atlanta Democrat announces bid for Georgia secretary of state
State Rep. Bee Nguyen is jumping into the race for Georgia secretary of state, becoming the first prominent Democrat to mount a challenge to the state’s current top election official Brad Raffensperger (R).
In a video announcing her candidacy, Nguyen vowed to fight efforts to curtail voting rights, accusing Republicans of clamping down on access to the ballot box after an unfavorable 2020 election that saw several statewide Democratic victories in Georgia.
“Republicans have done everything in their power to silence the voices of voters who chose an America that works for all of us and not just some of us,” Nguyen said. “But we will not allow anyone to stand in the way of our right to a fair and free democracy.”
If she wins, Nguyen would become the first Asian American to be elected to statewide office in Georgia history.
Secretaries of state races are rarely high-profile events, often overshadowed by contests for other statewide offices like governor and U.S. Senate.
But race for secretary of state in Georgia is already garnering significant national attention. Raffensperger, a Republican, has faced repeated attacks from former President Trump for refusing his pleas to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.
Allies of the former president have since called for Raffensperger’s ouster, and Trump has already endorsed the campaign of Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who is challenging Raffensperger in the GOP primary.
Democrats, meanwhile, are also eager to defeat Raffensperger, especially after Georgia state lawmakers passed a sweeping voting bill in March that would tighten voting restrictions in the state.
Democrats and voting rights activists have panned the new law, comparing it Jim Crow laws that suppressed Black voters in the South for decades.
While Raffensperger did not craft that legislation, he has defended aspects of it, including a new requirement that voters provide a state-issued ID to request and submit absentee ballots. He has also criticized parts of the law, including a provision that strips him of his role atop the state Elections Board.
With Hice and now Nguyen in the race, Raffensperger will face pressure from both sides of the political aisle.