Democrats quick to respond to Georgia official's calls to end harsh election rhetoric
ATLANTA - Democrats were quick to respond to angry comments made by one of Georgia’s top elections officials on Tuesday.
Gabriel Sterling, a life-long Republican who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system, came out swinging on Tuesday afternoon against members of his own party, admonishing the president and Georgia’s two Republican senators for continued rhetoric surrounding the election and the threats of violence that have resulted.
Trump last week called Raffensperger an “enemy of the people,” Sterling noted, adding, “That helped open the floodgates to this kind of crap.”
Sterling openly challenged President Trump as well as Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to denounce violent threats and to rein in supporters from continued threats based on conspiratorial denials of defeat in the presidential election on Nov. 3.
Biden won by fewer than 13,000 votes out of about 5 million cast and the state is currently undergoing a recount at the request of the Trump campaign since the vote was within a one-percent margin.
Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts
The campaigns for Perdue and Loeffler both issued statements Tuesday evening condemning violence but also criticizing election officials, according to news outlets. They previously called for Sterling’s boss, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over what they call a mismanagement of the statewide election.
Democrats, who have become energized by Biden's win and eager to try to flip Georgia’s two Senate seats, were quick to respond to Sterling’s comments.
Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and found of Fair Fight, Stacey Abrams released the following statement:
"Fair Fight and I condemn in the strongest terms possible all threats against election workers, contractors, and election officials. We are deeply grateful for the local elections staff and elections volunteers who devote their time and talents in service to our democracy. Without these patriots, our voices could not be heard and our votes could not be counted. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who have echoed election conspiracies without evidence and contributed to the culture of intimidation and fear, should join us in condemning those who engage in these despicable attacks. Georgians deserve better from their leaders than self-serving silence."
WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage
Abrams is being credited with helping to turn Georgia blue and has been active in helping to drive new voters to the polls in time for the runoffs on Jan. 5.
Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, Reverend Raphael Warnock, also added his voice to the conversation. Rev. Warnock is in a tight runoff against Sen. Loeffler.
“There is absolutely no place for violence in our democracy, and it is beyond time for Kelly Loeffler to put an end to the dangerous attacks she and President Trump are making on our elections - including members of her own party. I again ask Senator Loeffler to join me in standing up for Georgia voters, our elections and to stop putting her own political interests ahead of Georgia.”
Rev. Warnock added that this is not the first time he has spoken out about Sen. Loeffler’s “irresponsible attacks on Georgia’s elections” and went on to say her “unsubstantiated claims to undermine faith in the results.”
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff, who is in a runoff against Sen. Perdue did not release a statement to FOX 5 responding to Sterling's comments/
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alert