There are calls for the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party to resign in continued fallout from Donald Trump's unsuccessful attempt to oust elected officials who rebuffed his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
"More than a dozen senior GOP officials, each speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they lack confidence in state Republican Chairman David Shafer’s leadership and that they worry he could damage the party's attempts to unify ahead of a challenging November election," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.
Trump was backing former Sen. David Perdue in the GOP primary against Gov. Brian Kemp, but Republican voters rejected Perdue by over 600,000 votes in a 52% point landslide.
"In the halls of the Omni Hotel at the Battery, a Georgia GOP operative was searching for the state party’s annual Christmas fundraiser when he stumbled upon a closed-door meeting with David Perdue and several of his campaign staffers shortly after he entered the race against Gov. Brian Kemp," Greg Bluestein reported. "Also huddled with Perdue in the small room was a man the aide was surprised to see: Party Chair David Shafer, who is barred by state GOP bylaws from using his title to take sides in primary fights. The operative was hustled from the room, but word of the encounter quickly spread among party leaders."
Trump also sought to oust Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who beat Rep. Jody Hice by 19% points.
"Attendees said it was a few minutes of small talk afforded to any dignitary at a state GOP function. But the episode called attention to Shafer’s cozy relationships with candidates backed by Donald Trump, most of whom were resoundingly rejected by Republican voters in the May 24 primaries," he explained. "Those relationships, as well as his public attacks against fellow Republicans, have put Shafer on the wrong side of many of the people who rely on the state party he leads to marshal millions of dollars and coordinate grassroots organizing efforts ahead of the November election."
Far-right radio host Erick Erickson, who lives in Atlanta, saw Bluestein's report and called for Shafer to step down.
"The Chairman of the Georgia GOP should resign. He probably won’t. No state GOP elected official trusts him. He was openly ridiculed by state legislators at the Kemp event. The state party needs a purge generally and of the chairman specifically," Erickson said.
The scandal comes as Kemp is being challenged by Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch of the 2018 race.