Three Republican Georgia state senators threw their full support behind President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results after he lost to Joe Biden. And now, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, they have been demoted.
The state legislature’s winter session was just two days in when Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) decided to take a decisive step against Sens. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Matt Brass of Newnan and Burt Jones of Jackson.
What do these demotions actually mean for the senators? Beach, for instance, will not be allowed to chair the state’s Transportation Committee, and Jones will find himself out of his position as the chair on the Insurance and Labor Committee. Brass will be demoted to a lesser position than he previously held by being in charge of overseeing a banking committee.
The Journal-Constitution wrote that the demotions weren’t a total surprise but that some members who supported the president’s outlandish efforts escaped any penalties.
These new demotions come amid Georgia’s recent significant political turmoil and unrest.
Georgia found itself as the center of major election fraud claims when the long-held red state went blue for Biden in November, leading to President Trump and his allies crying foul. Trump even reportedly called an election investigator in Georgia in December and asked that he “find the fraud.”
Of course, now we know that state election officials were not able to find any evidence of fraud in Georgia’s presidential race OR in the subsequent Senate runoff races. And in the Senate runoff races, BOTH Democrats who ran, Sen.-elect Jon Ossoff and Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock, secured victories.
The important victory of President- elect Biden, coupled with Ossoff’s and Warnock’s wins meant Georgia turned blue for the first time since 1992 and the January runoff wins also gave Democrats majority in the Senate.
Georgia has been amid a a coarse political climate since Trump’s 2016 election which likely led to the record high voter turnout in 2020 – about 5 million people voted in the November election.
Biden’s win, which wasn’t officially called by the AP until the weekend after the election, made Trump the first Republican presidential candidate to lose the state of Georgia since 1992.After that loss, Trump and his allies, which were some of Georgia’s high-ranking statewide elected officials, went into panic mode, leveling baseless claims of massive voter fraud and filed multiple lawsuits that were either dismissed or just dropped.
But the constant accusations, infighting, and conspiracy theories that were floated led GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger passionately come to the defense of the integrity of his state’s election system. His somewhat angry response and defense had many within his party calling for his resignation, which he firmly rejected.
Tensions in Georgia stayed high even after two recounts confirmed Biden’s win, leading to utter political chaos in the state, with GOP lawmakers holding election hearings and protests breaking out near the Capitol, all while those nonsense lawsuits clogged up the Georgia court system.
So while the demotions may seem harsh to some, the political climate in Georgia is still hostile, with some Republican leaders having vowed to introduce changes to voting rules, including making absentee voting even harder because they believe it contributed to Trump’s loss.