Raffensperger for US Senate

MAGALand just collectively rolled their eyes, and this post is worth it if only to imagine some specific folks trying to overcome the vapors at the thought of it.

But hear me out.

The 2024 legislative session in the Georgia General Assembly was marked, nay, marred by a great deal of vitriol sourced from the Senate towards the Secretary of State’s office. An incredible amount of intellectual capital was spent on trying to create wedge issues between Burt Jones and Brad Raffensperger, some of which I found simply confounding. It does no good for the average Georgian for there to be a cold war (that does not appear to be all that cold) between the LG and the SOS.

But before we get to the Raffensperger for Senate part, let’s take a look at the landscape as it sits for the GOP nomination for Governor.

All elected officials, if they are currently in office will say something like, “I am focused on the job I have right now,” unless they have already announced. Poppycock I say! Poppycock!

We know that LG Jones is definitely going to run because State Senators openly discuss it. He has deep pockets, has shown loyalty to Trump when others chose a different path, and is currently serving in one of the top three most powerful positions in our state. He has also used his time in office as LG to churn out a ton of red meat legislation out of the Senate that will appeal to the base. And probably one of the biggest feathers in his cap has been his ability to galvanize Republicans in the Senate to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He has exhibited strong leadership ability regardless of whether you may agree with his policy stands. Many believe at this point it is his nomination to lose, but I remember a lot of the same people saying the same thing about Casey Cagle.

We also know that the Attorney General, Chris Carr, has told people that he is running. Recently, Buzz pointed out in the podcast that when rumors were that Carr was actually going to run for Senate that people close to Carr rejected that idea completely because his eyes are set on a gubernatorial run. He is also making the rounds, having recently showed up to State Rep Robert Dickey’s Peaches and Politics event in Musella.

During the legislative session all of the lobbyist corps were abuzz with rumors that Marty Kemp might run when her husband’s term expires. “They wouldn’t even need to change the yard signs,” said one. If she does decide to run she can point to her work to fight human trafficking as a serious policy win. She is highly respected under the Gold Dome, by me included. But she also recently made a public statement that when it came time to vote for POTUS, she was likely to write in the name of Brian Kemp. That doesn’t sound like something a future candidate for Governor would say to a reporter.

It also does not take an advanced degree in reading tea leaves to come to the conclusion that Kelly Loeffler is likely to launch her own bid. Loeffler has been busy as of late, both donating and raising a ton of money for Donald Trump’s effort to regain the White House, but also in doing the data analysis work that the GAGOP should have been doing all along. Her work at Greater Georgia is a genuine asset to conservatives across the state and any political operative who isn’t using them as a resource at this point is committing professional malpractice. She has the data to tailor appealing messages to whole swaths of Georgia voters as a result of that work. Add that she has the cash to spare and because of her fundraising for Trump it is likely that her entry into the race would neutralize the Trump advantage that the Jones camp is hoping they can bank on. She will be a formidable candidate.

Which brings us to Secretary Raffensperger.

Say what you will about Raffensperger’s appeal among the base, in the 2022 general election he got more votes for SOS than Jones received for LG. His steadfastness in applying the law and sticking to the Constitution may not win him many friends in MAGALand, but he has the ability to clear the field of any other serious candidate if he decides to run.

Of course that is unless Brian Kemp decides to run for Senate. But the rumors about that are trending away from Kemp running for Senate and towards a Presidential run in 2028. One way or another there will be a Republican presidential preference primary in 28. And Kemp, who is sporting a 65% approval rating among Georgians while delivering rock solid conservative policy wins, sets up nicely for taking his farmer talk to the Iowa State Fair. So let’s work off the theory that he has no interest in going to serve in a body as dysfunctional as the US Senate and instead will focus on a POTUS run.

That leaves Georgia Republicans without a serious candidate to challenge Jon Ossoff unless Raffensperger decides to do it. And all of the attacks that Ossoff would have at his disposal for almost any other candidate become instantly ineffective against the SOS. He stood up for the rule of law during the fog of war that was the 2020 election, shutting down the narrative that would plague many Republicans who may seek that office. Shifting his focus away from running for Governor and toward a US Senate run may also alleviate some of the heat his office has felt at the hands of the State Senate. A calling off of the dogs, as it were.

I am not saying that any of this will happen, and I have not had any conversations with Secretary Raffensperger or anyone connected to him about this idea. My best redneck buddy, Donny, likes to tell me that I am a pudding stick, meaning I stir lime in the outhouse as needed. This may just be me doing that. But think about how the political landscape would be transformed overnight if it played out.

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