President Donald Trump was dealt a major blow late Monday as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) recertified the results of his state’s presidential election after a second recount upheld President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, The New York Times reports.
The certification officially shuts down President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia. Tuesday marks the federal safe harbor date by which all states are required to have resolved any election-related disputes. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the recount results earlier on Monday. The recount showed Biden leading Trump by roughly 12,000 votes.
The president has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the election results in Georgia and other battleground states that he lost to Biden were marred by widespread voter fraud. He has also sought to pressure Kemp to call a special session of the Georgia state legislature to overturn Biden’s win.
However, Trump has seen little success in his bid to undo his loss. A recount of the vote in Georgia requested by his campaign last month and completed last week reaffirmed Biden’s victory in the state, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 to carry what was once a Republican stronghold.
Trump’s criticism of the election results and could worsen divides in the Georgia GOP ahead of two critical Senate runoff elections in January. Those runoffs will ultimately determine the balance of power in the upper chamber in 2021 and beyond.
Defying Trump could get Kemp in political trouble when he is up for reelection in 2022. Some Republicans have already begun to call for him to face a primary challenger. Trump himself floated the idea during a rally in Georgia on Saturday, suggesting that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), a staunch ally, should run for governor in two years.