Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr easily survived a primary challenge on Tuesday night, an outcome that dealt a blow to the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
The New York Times and multiple Georgia news outlets called the race for Carr, who had won nearly 75% of the vote as of 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
Trump endorsed Atlanta businessman and attorney John Gordon in the race, one of three major statewide contests in which Trump backed a primary opponent against an incumbent Georgia Republican.
Gordon focused his campaign almost exclusively on the conspiracy theory that Georgia’s election was illegitimate, and that it had been stolen from Trump via widespread fraud and other irregularities.
Carr stood behind Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s (R) decision to certify the results of the 2020 election, which President Joe Biden won. Investigations into Georgia’s vote found no evidence of fraud or irregularities, including those alleged in a lawsuit that Gordon served as an attorney on.
Gordon and a super PAC supporting him alleged in ads that Chris Carr “wrecks fair elections” in Georgia, and he campaigned across the state by promising voters that as attorney general he would launch his own investigation into the 2020 results.
Gordon asserted in an interview with HuffPost that Georgia’s 2020 election amounted to “a coup d’état” against Trump, and suggested that Carr had acted somewhere between incompetently and corruptly by refusing to root out the fraud Gordon insisted took place. A judge dismissed the lawsuit Gordon was a part of last October and said that there was no credible evidence backing its main claims.
Carr, by contrast, maintained that Biden had legitimately won the election and focused his own campaign on his support for Trump’s immigration policies. Carr has sued the Biden administration over its efforts to roll back some of Trump’s most aggressive immigration moves.
Carr will face state Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat who easily won her primary contest on Tuesday, in November’s election. Jordan held a commanding 78%-22% lead over fellow Democrat Christian Wise Smith with more than a third of estimated votes counted, and multiple outlets had declared her the winner.
Jordan has criticized Carr’s work as attorney general, including his defense of the election reform law passed by Georgia’s GOP-controlled legislature last year.
That law implements new voting restrictions, creates new crimes related to elections and has paved the way for Republicans to purge local election officials and take over county election boards in areas like Fulton County, the home of Atlanta and Georgia’s most populous county.
Carr has defended it against at least five lawsuits that allege it disproportionately impacts Black voters, disabled Georgians and other minority communities in ways that make it unconstitutional. The Department of Justice has also sued Georgia over the law, alleging that it unconstitutionally targets Black voters.
Carr told HuffPost in a statement last week that he had “stood up for election integrity,” the euphemism Republicans adopted after the 2020 race as they passed more than 30 bills restricting voting rights nationwide. And he said he was “vigorously defending” the election law, SB 202, from “false attacks” by Georgia Democrats and the Department of Justice.
After she unveiled a platform for voting rights protections in Atlanta last week, Jordan told HuffPost that she would use the attorney general’s office to bolster voting rights and prosecute those who seek to suppress the vote. She also said she would use her powers to protect abortion rights and access if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade later this year, as it is widely expected to do.
Jordan also gave Carr little credit for standing up to Trump’s efforts to stoke conspiracy theories and overturn the results of the Georgia election, saying he merely fulfilled the most basic requirement of his job.
“I’m not really in the business of giving people medals for doing the bare minimum and following the law,” Jordan said.