U.S. Rep. Jody Hice confirmed the rumors of his political future Monday by declaring his intentions to run for Georgia Secretary of State in 2022.
Hice, R-Greensboro, who currently represents portions of Newton and Walton counties in Georgia's 10th District, will challenge incumbent Brad Raffensperger to become the state’s top elections official.
"Free and fair elections are the foundation of our country,” Hice said in a statement. “What Brad Raffensperger did was create cracks in the integrity of our elections, which I wholeheartedly believe individuals took advantage of in 2020. Though I am encouraged to see the General Assembly taking it upon themselves to address some of the glaring issues in our elections, Georgia deserves a Secretary of State who will own the responsibilities of the office. If elected, I will instill confidence in our election process by upholding the Georgia Constitution, enforcing meaningful reform and aggressively pursuing those who commit voter fraud.
“Every Georgian, in fact every American, has the right to be outraged by the actions and, simultaneously, the inaction of our Secretary of State,” he continued. “Our state deserves a leader who steers clear of scandals and focuses on the incredibly important duties of the office. If elected, my top priority will be ensuring every Georgian's legally cast ballot is counted in future elections. I am excited about our campaign and I know together we can renew integrity!”
Raffensperger has been heavily criticized by many, including Hice and former President Donald Trump, for his job in the 2020 General Election. President Joe Biden carried Georgia to narrowly defeated Trump in 2020 presidential race. A Democrat presidential candidate had not won the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Despite no evidence of widespread fraud, Trump believed the election was stolen in the Peach State. Hice also believed there was fraud — he was one of few Republicans to challenge Georgia’s electoral votes in Congress on Jan. 6.
Trump issued his support of Hice on Monday morning through the former president’s Save America PAC. Trump called Hice’s announcement “good news” and said he had “100% confidence” in the congressman.
“Jody has been a steadfast fighter for conservative Georgia values and is a staunch ally of the America First agenda,” part of Trump’s endorsement states. “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity.”
Hice is a pastor and conservative talk show host originally from Bold Springs. He was first elected to office in 2014, becoming the first Walton County resident to serve in Congress. He later moved to Greensboro to be at the center of the district.
Raffensperger has said he’ll run for reelection.
David Belle Isle announced his candidacy Sunday and officially kicked off his campaign Monday with an event in Alpharetta. Other challengers could come forward in the coming weeks.
This is a developing story and may be updated as more information is received.