Georgia’s former lieutenant governor backs Biden in high-profile defection from GOP

Not long ago, Jeff Duncan He was seen as a rising star in Republican Party politics. Now, the former Georgia lieutenant governor says he will vote for President Joe Biden in 2024, and is urging other Republicans to do so, too.

“Unlike Trump, I have belonged to the Republican Party my whole life. Next November, I will vote for a decent person with whom I disagree on policy regarding a criminal defendant who has no moral compass,” Duncan wrote. An editorial published Monday in Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia was a breaking point for Duncan, who along with other GOP officials in the state, such as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, defended the state’s safety. elections and condemned Trump’s actions and rhetoric As false and undemocratic.

This break with Trump prompted Duncan to decide not to run for re-election in 2022 Write a book On reinventing the Republican Party without Trump.

Duncan, also a former professional baseball player and state legislator, was inducted To join the middle Third party presidential ticket Backed by No Labels earlier this year, but ultimately declined.

The wealthy group in Washington announced last March that it would abandon its presidential ambitions for 2024 after its victory. Unable to find a reliable candidate. Duncan appears to be the closest to getting a candidate to the top of the list, although No Labels has kept much of its work secret.

Duncan has since said in Interviews That he seriously considered a No Labels ticket, but wasn’t confident that any third-party candidate would have a real path to victory in November and was concerned that he would just be a spoiler.

With Trump now back at the forefront of the Republican Party and on track to be its nominee in November, Duncan criticized other former GOP Trump skeptics. For standing behind the former president instead of supporting the current Democratic president.

“[T]“The GOP will never rebuild until we move on from the Trump era, leaving conservative (but not angry) Republicans like me no choice but to pressure Biden,” Duncan wrote in his new op-ed.

He continued: “The alternative is another term for Trump, a man who has lost his eligibility through his behavior and personality.” Hush money trial Concerning allegations of improper record-keeping of payments to conceal an affair with an adult film star.”

Duncan went on to write that he disagrees with Biden’s policies and that Republicans who support Biden should at the same time “work to elect a GOP majority in Congress to obstruct his second-term legislative agenda and provide checks and balance.”

In a statement, Biden campaign spokesman James Singer said the campaign is “actively reaching out to Americans like Jeff Duncan, who have put their country and their interest in protecting our democracy before blind loyalty to Donald Trump and his selfish campaign for revenge and retaliation.” “

Singer said the campaign welcomes Duncan and all others who share their value for democracy, the rule of law and common decency, adding that they “have a place in President Biden’s vision for America.”

Anti-Trump Republicans were a key part of the coalition that helped Biden oust the former president in 2020, when Democrats highlighted the support of GOP officials in ads and speaking slots at the Democratic National Convention.

But some of those Republicans who support Biden said the president’s outreach since then has been lackluster. Warning that his campaign needs to make more efforts To win over so-called soft Republicans and party-leaning independents.

Democrats closely monitoring this year’s Republican primaries also saw potential Biden Supporters are among the segment of voters won by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, a moderate and critic of Trump.

The Biden team has not yet mounted a major public effort specifically targeting those voters, but Democrats He says the time for such a step is approaching the elections. Meanwhile, they believe Trump and his campaign will continue to discredit Haley and her supporters, rather than try to win them back.

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