Georgia Democrats defend embattled Republican Secretary of State

Several members of the organization Concerned Black Clergy stood at the State Capitol Thursday in defense of Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger.

The group of Democrats, led by State Representative Billy Mitchell, were unapologetic in their support of how the Republican official handled the state's presidential election and hand recount.

"We don't endorse him, but we do commend him and ask him in this runoff to keep on doing the right thing. We believe the reason those are calling upon him to resign is because he did his job with integrity," said Bishop Reginald Jackson.

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"We're in an environment today where, if you do your job, you can lose your job. So, we want to commend the Secretary of State for doing his job and protecting the vote of every eligible and for making sure that this was an election where people could have confidence," Jackson said, alluding to the recent termination of several key administration figures by President Donald Trump.

"Our Secretary of State's life has been threatened. That is not democracy," said Rev. Timothy McDonald as he acknowledged the death threats on Raffensperger's family and the calls for resignation from Georgia's Republican Senators. "I don't care if it's a Republican vote. I don't care if it's a Democrat vote, an independent vote, but that every vote gets counted. That's what this Secretary of State has been doing."

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The clergy members also called on voters to prepare now for the January 5 runoff election for Georgia's two Senate Seats.

"I want to encourage as many as possible to apply now to get the absentee ballot so you can receive it and have time to get it in and we believe a concerted effort must be made in the rural and southern parts of this state," said Bishop Jackson. “And we need to make sure people plan now to vote early in this runoff. Black voters traditionally don’t return to the polls for the runoffs and we can’t afford to have that happen this time. Too much is at stake,” the AME Bishop added.

Rev. Cynthia Hale called on Black men and voters outside of metro Atlanta to help build on the momentum of Black women who showed up at the polls in record numbers during the November election.

"There are still people who believe that their vote won't count. But your vote won't count unless you cast it. We need folks from every county, every county in Georgia to show up and make their vote count," said Hale.

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