A handful of high-profile Republican officials joined the Democratic Party’s chorus of opposition to former President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread fraud and irregularities in November’s presidential election results.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan was among the most outspoken critics in the party — and that decision might have cost him a career in elected office, at least in the near future.
No “final decision” yet
According to the Washington Examiner, one of Duncan’s top aides recently revealed that the lieutenant governor is not expected to run for re-election when his current term comes to an end.
Instead, he is expected to focus his attention and energy on a group he recently helped form. GOP 2.0 is described as an effort to reshape the GOP in the wake of the Trump administration.
News of his future political plans first came in an Associated Press report, which cited John Porter, his chief of staff, who claimed that it was “unlikely” that the lieutenant governor would seek another term. Porter acknowledged, however, that Duncan had not yet made a “final decision” on the matter.
Although Duncan’s opposition to Trump had earned him praise from other anti-Trump Republicans and even some Democrats, it clearly angered many of the former president’s supporters and allies. With the latter group making up a considerable portion of the current Republican Party, Duncan has faced the prospect of serious primary challengers if he opted to throw his hat in the ring for another term.
According to the Washington Examiner, Porter’s remarks were independently confirmed by his own communications director, Macy McFall.
“We need real leadership”
In addition to remarks aimed at Trump, Duncan also attracted opprobrium from his own party over opposition to Georgia’s GOP-led legislature and its recent passage of new voter reform measures.
During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press last month, he told host Chuck Todd that the bill amounted to “solutions in search of a problem” and said that his party needs “leadership” to win, not new election-related reforms.
“I think there’s millions of Republicans waking up around the country that are realizing that Donald Trump’s divisive tone and strategy is unwinnable in forward-looking elections,” Duncan added. “We need real leadership. We need new focus, a GOP 2.0 that includes moderates in the middle, to get us to the next election cycle.”
Other news reports signaled the likelihood that Duncan would step down at the end of his current term, including an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that claimed he had “alienated” himself with many of the state’s GOP voters.
Trump adviser Jason Miller shared a link to that article on Twitter, adding: “Handwriting is on the wall…who else will get smart here?”