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Georgia GOP official refuses to resign after judge rules he voted illegally

Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

ATLANTA — A senior Georgia GOP official is defying calls from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republicans to step down after a judge ruled he violated state election laws when he voted nine times while serving probation for a felony check forgery sentence.

Brian K. Pritchard, the state party’s first vice chairman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the demands that he resign were “sensationalized” after an administrative law judge ruled last week that he must pay a $5,000 fine and face a reprimand.

The judge’s findings have fueled calls of hypocrisy targeting Pritchard and other Donald Trump loyalists who promoted election fraud conspiracy theories about the 2020 election despite recounts, court cases and investigations that have consistently debunked fraud claims.

Pritchard said in the interview that he has offered “full transparency” about his past, that he briefed statewide party leaders shortly after he won the post in June and discussed it in direct conservations with dozens of county and district leaders.

“I haven’t broken the rules, I didn’t mislead the leadership,” said Pritchard, a conservative online radio host. “If they felt something needed to be done, they haven’t let me know.”

The violations have fueled a fresh rift within the state GOP, which is already struggling with tension between Trump’s supporters and the more mainstream conservatives who competed for control of the organization.

 

Gov. Brian Kemp and his key allies have thrown their support behind a political organization outside the Georgia GOP that the second-term Republican launched to boost his reelection campaign and help down-ticket candidates win.

And some Republicans have groused that the Georgia GOP has spent more than $1 million on legal fees for a former chairman and two other Trump electors charged in Fulton County’s election interference trial.

Pritchard, like several other top Georgia GOP officials, still falsely claims Trump beat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. He repeated that claim in the AJC interview: “I say it every day. Trump won the election.”

It’s unclear whether the party will take steps to remove Pritchard. State GOP Chair Josh McKoon, who has so far remained neutral, declined to comment. But the criticism by Greene, one of Trump’s top Georgia loyalists, escalated the pressure.

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