On Tuesday, Georgia Democrat Bee Nguyen announced her campaign to become the Georgia Secretary of State, running on a promise to expand voting rights in the state that has been a central battleground in the fight over voter suppression in recent years. Nguyen, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, founded a non-profit called Athena’s Warehouse before running for (and winning) the east Atlanta seat in the Georgia House of Representatives that had previously been held by Stacey Abrams. If she wins the election, Nguyen would be the first Asian American elected to statewide political office in Georgia history.
The current Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, came under fire from his Republican colleagues following the 2016 election after he refused to commit election fraud to help Donald Trump win Georgia during the ballot recount in the state. On a phone call during the ballot counting, the then-President urged Raffensperger to “find” more votes for him, suggesting that Raffensperger say that he’s “recalculated.” “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” responded Raffensperger, which unsurprisingly, pissed Trump off.
In response, Trump has reportedly decided to use his political influence in Georgia to campaign against Raffensperger’s reelection, instead endorsing his own lackey U.S. Rep. Jody Hice. Just last month, over a dozen Republican groups across Georgia passed resolutions demanding Raffensperger’s resignation. Between Hice and Nguyen, Raffensperger is facing prominent challenges on both sides of the aisle, but the current Georgia Secretary of State still believes he can regain favor among conservatives before the election next year.
If Nguyen manages to flip the Republican-held seat, she plans to work to “ensure that all Georgians have the right to participate in our democracy and for Georgia to lead the country on voting rights — not on voter suppression,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Specifically, the Democratic politician mentioned rolling back the new voting restrictions recently passed by the Georgia Republican-controlled legislature under the guise of “improving election security.”
“Republicans have done everything in their power to silence the voices of voters who chose an America who works for all of us, not just some of us,” said Nguyen. “But we will not allow anyone to stand in the way of our right to a free and fair democracy.”