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GA GOP vote to endorse Trump fails
W Georgia-state-capitol-dome

By Craig Nelson, The Current.

A vote by senior Georgia Republican Party officials to endorse Donald Trump as their 2024 presidential nominee failed over the weekend, but voting will be redone in “a couple of days,” a top Coastal Georgia Republican official said.

During a closed-door meeting on Saturday of the party’s executive committee, secretary Caroline Jeffords made a motion to endorse the former U.S. president, according to two people present at the St. Simons Island event.

At least 150 people cast votes in person at the King and Prince Resort or by proxy. It is unclear how many voted in favor of the endorsement. According to three people, those present swiftly passed another motion to keep the original tally secret.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor, who participated in the voting, blamed the failed measure on technical glitches. The vote “wasn’t correct,” she said. “It wasn’t a legitimate vote.” She didn’t detail the technical problems.

How or exactly when state party officials will conduct a new vote to endorse Trump or any presidential candidate wasn’t clear. Georgia’s presidential preference primary takes place March 12.

Jeffords did not reply to a message seeking comment.

The failed endorsement came after members of the executive committee and other state party luminaries attended a Friday night gala hosted by Taylor and the 1st Congressional District Republican Party, which she chairs.

Among those at the dinner were U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson, state GOP chairman Josh McKoon, former state senator William Ligon, Georgia Republican Assembly 1st vice president Brant Frost V, Glynn County District Attorney Keith Higgins, Chatham County Republican Committee chair Brittany Brown, and state Senate District 1 candidate Beth Majeroni.

An auction overseen by state Sen. Colton Moore and including paintings of Trump and the Statue of Liberty took in more than $25,000, which will be used for grassroots political efforts in the upcoming elections, Taylor said.

The Georgia GOP is mired in an identity crisis between those loyal to Gov.

Brian Kemp and the state party apparatus, where Trump loyalists are increasingly influential. Kemp didn’t appear at the state party convention in Columbus last summer. Trump was the featured speaker.

Over the summer, some Coastal Georgia Republicans insisted that any internal tensions that beset the party were either misunderstood or exaggerated. But the Trump faction remains rife with paranoia and suspicion about Kemp loyalists, who they deride as “the Establishment.”

The Current is an independent, indepth and investigative journalism website for Coastal Georgia.

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