SPONSORED:

Georgia's GOP lt. governor won't seek reelection amid election backlash

Georgia's GOP lt. governor won't seek reelection amid election backlash
© Getty

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) said Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022, foregoing what was expected to be a bruising primary campaign due to his criticism of former President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE

Even before his announcement on Monday, Duncan appeared unlikely to take up a reelection bid. He has found himself on the receiving end of Trump’s ire after rebuking the former president’s false claims of a rigged election, infuriating many Georgia Republicans who remain loyal to Trump.

In a statement, Duncan addressed the tension within the GOP, describing the party as being at a crossroads in the wake of Trump’s presidency. He said that he would not seek reelection next year and would instead focus on “healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged but not destroyed.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“It always feels coldest right before the sun rises. I believe that is the exact moment in time the Republican Party is caught in right now, and I am committed to being a part of creating those better days ahead for our conservative party all across the country,” Duncan said.

“The national events of the last six months have deeply affected my family in ways I would have never imagined when I first asked for their support to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2017. Through all of the highs and lows of the last six months, they have never left my side and are once again united behind me in my pursuit of a better way forward for our conservative party  a GOP 2.0.”

Duncan’s decision to forego a reelection bid comes amid an ongoing struggle within the GOP over its direction and values in the post-Trump political landscape. 

Some in the party have called on Republicans to reject the former president’s brand of politics, especially after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Most party leaders, however, have shown little interest in abandoning Trump, seeing him as their most influential surrogate heading into the 2022 midterm elections. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Last week, House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says Liz Cheney hired security after death threats: report MORE (R-Wyo.) from her leadership role after she refused to back up Trump’s claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him. She has also vowed to campaign against the former president’s influence over the party. 

Still, Republican voters have largely stood by Trump, who is expected to play an active role in the midterms. 

Duncan isn’t the only Georgia Republican to face Trump’s wrath. The former president has also pledged to oppose Gov. Brian KempBrian KempWhy won't the national media cover the story Americans care about most? North Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MORE and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both of whom refused to overturn Trump’s electoral loss in Georgia last year.