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One-on-One interview with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was on the receiving end of one of the most infamous phone calls in political history – a January 2, 2021 call from then-President Donald Trump. Desperate to overturn the results in Georgia, Trump asked the state’s top elections official to quote “find” him the votes he needed to win the Peach State. Raffensperger, a Republican, stood firm; calmly but firmly telling Trump he’d lost. Now, the Secretary is up for re-election. But first, he has to beat a Trump-backed challenger, Rep. Jody Hice.

“Every single allegation was investigated.” It’s been a year and a half and Brad Raffensperger is still defending Georgia’s 2020 election results. “You know,” he tells CBS46 anchor Rick Folbaum, in a one-on-one interview, “urban legends don’t listen to us. But my job is just gently, calmly and factually tell people here what the facts are.”

And the facts are that Joe Biden won Georgia. Not by much. But he won, by .23%.

As for the infamous Trump call, now the subject of a Fulton Country special grand jury investigation?

“I just want everyone to understand, and I want (President Trump) to understand that we went through a deep dive on everything. The ballots had been counted at the end of the day, three times. But like I said,” Raffensperger explained, “that’s looking backward. What we’re doing is actually looking forward.”

For Raffensperger, that means boasting about Georgia’s voter rolls; the “cleanest in the country” according to his campaign. The Secretary is also proud of what he says is the strongest check on any non-U.S. citizens who might illegally attempt to vote.

As for his Trump-endorsed Republican challenger, Jody Hice?

Raffensperger didn’t hold back. “Well, Jody Hice has done nothing to pass election integrity legislation while he was in congress for over seven years,” referring to Hice’s run as a congressman from Georgia’s 14th district. “He had no problem living off the taxpayer gold for seven years. he did nothing for election integrity legislation.”

Raffensperger is undeterred when it comes to threats he and his family received after the 2020 election; dealing these days with the occasional nasty gram, as he put it.

He says he did his job, regardless of whether everyone has accepted the results.

“For some reason, people wanted to believe it or they didn’t believe it, Raffensperger said. “But at the end of day, I have to make sure we always follow the Constitution. And in my re-election campaign now, I’m leaning on the goodness of my fellow Georgians. I just, I guess I’m an optimist. Optimist about American. Optimist about the American people. And I believe that most Georgians are great people. And that’s why I believe I’ll be re-elected.

Early voting for the primaries is on a record pace. It ends this May 20. Election day is May 24.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Raw interview with Brad Raffensperger