Brad Raffensperger (Georgia Secretary of State), was an ex-target of President Donald Trump and has now won the Republican primary to reelect him.

Raffensperger defeated three challengers, one of whom was Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep. Jody Haice, who had criticised his handling the 2020 election. It wasn’t immediately clear who he would face in November.

“What I’ve found is that everyone in Georgia wants secure and safe elections with the right balance between accessibility and security. After declaring victory, Raffensperger said that Georgia is where it’s at the moment.

Raffensperger was one of Trump’s main targets as he reacted to top Georgia officials refusing to reverse his narrow loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump claimed that victory was stolen through widespread voter fraud, but he did not provide proof.

Trump said that Raffensperger could “find enough votes” to defeat President Biden in a well-remembered January 2021 telephone call. An Atlanta prosecutor opened an investigation into Trump’s illegal influence on the state’s elections. The investigation is ongoing.

Raffensperger stated, “If you don’t understand the election of 2020 then here’s what happened — 28,000 Georgians skipped presidential race but voted down in other races.”

Hice embraced Trump’s false claims of a 2020 election stolen and opposed Georgia’s electoral votes being counted in favor of Biden. Trump’s attorney general and state officials have denied that there was widespread fraud. Each tally in Georgia’s presidential election confirmed Biden’s victory.

The GOP primary challengers, Hice, David Belle Isle, and T.J. Hudson, all criticized Raffensperger’s handling of 2020 elections, saying that he made Georgians lose faith in the system.

Raffensperger retorted, insisting on his record and insisting that Georgia’s election are fair and secure. He made the ban on noncitizens voting, a popular platform with conservative Republicans, a central part of his reelection campaign.

Trump’s obsessive focus on his election loss and unproven claims that widespread fraud are his hallmarks have placed a spotlight upon down-ballot secretary to state races across the country.

Raffensperger answered a reporter’s question about whether his win was a direct rebuke to Trump.

The Democratic side saw State Rep. Bee Nguyen (who occupied the seat previously held by Stacey Abrams who was a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful and voting rights activist) advance to a runoff.

It was not yet clear which of the four Democratic candidates she would face in the June 21 election. These are Floyd Griffin (a state senator, and former mayor) and Michael Owens (ex-council Democratic Party chairman); John Eaves (ex-Fulton County Commission chairman); and Dee Dawkins–Haigler (ex-deputy from DeKalb County).