'What kind of person are you?' Brad Raffensperger’s wife sent Kelly Loeffler a 'blistering' text in 2020
In November and December 2020, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, both conservative Republicans, committed what then-President Donald Trump and his loyalists in the MAGA movement considered a cardinal sin: They acknowledged that then-President-Elect Joe Biden won Georgia’s electoral votes fairly. Then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler expressed her devotion to Trump by calling for Raffensperger’s resignation, and according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution sources, Raffensperger’s “typically measured” wife, Tricia Raffensperger, sent Loeffler a “blistering” text message in response.
In an article published on October 19, AJC reporters Greg Bluestein, Tamar Hallerman and David Wickert explain, “The message came on November 9, 2020, the same day Loeffler — then locked in a tight runoff battle against Democrat Raphael Warnock — and her Georgia colleague, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, called for Brad Raffensperger’s ouster. They cited no evidence beyond his unspecified ‘failures’ administering the state’s elections…. The message, which appeared on one of 59 pages worth of texts from Loeffler’s iPhone obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offers a rare peek into Loeffler’s private deliberations during her final weeks in office as she fought to hold onto her Senate seat while Trump and his allies cast doubt over the election results.”
Brad Raffensperger and members of his family were bombarded with death threats from Trump supporters when he rejected the Big Lie, and Tricia Raffensperger’s November 9, 2020 text made it clear that she considered Loeffler part of the problem.
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“Never did I think you were the kind of person to unleash such hate and fury on someone in political office of the same party,” Tricia Raffensperger angrily told Loeffler. “My family and I am being personally besieged by people threatening our lives because you didn't have the decency or good manners to come and talk to my husband with any questions you may have had. Instead, you have put us in the eye of the storm.”
Brad Raffensperger’s wife continued, “Unlike you, my husband is an honorable man with integrity to do the right thing. We are law-abiding people of faith. I hold you personally responsible for anything that happens to any of my family, from my husband, children and grandchildren. What kind of person are you that would purposely do this? I am so disappointed, I thought you were better than that! You do not deserve to be in elected office. You are not worthy of the high calling of that position.”
Loeffler obviously hoped that calling for Brad Raffensperger’s resignation would fire up Trump’s MAGA base and help keep her in the U.S. Senate. But when runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats were held on January 5, 2021, Loeffler lost to Democratic now-Sen. Raphael Warnock — and then-Sen. David Perdue lost to now-Sen. Jon Ossoff. Warnock is up for reelection in the 2022 midterms, and he is in a tight race with the Trump-supported Republican nominee, former football star Herschel Walker.
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According to Bluestein, Hallerman, and Wickert, “The copies of the text exchanges were sent to the AJC anonymously, and it’s not immediately clear how the messages were obtained…. The AJC confirmed the veracity of the exchanges with four people who were participants in some of the conversations…. The texts, which span from November 2020 to February 2021, almost entirely involve discussions between Loeffler, her aides, allies and supporters about election fraud, her runoff campaign and certification of Biden’s victory.”
All around the United States, Republicans who Trump considers insufficiently MAGA have faced aggressive primary challenges — including Brad Raffensperger, who was challenged by Rep. Jody Hice in Georgia. But on May 24, Georgia’s secretary of state defeated Hice by 19 percent.
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