One of the fiercest fighters against Giuliani and Trump’s fake election claims could become Georgia’s next secretary of state. Georgia Rep. Bee Nguyen held a commanding lead after the Spring primary and sealed the deal Tuesday night.
She will face Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in November. Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams endorsed Nguyen ahead of the runoff.
She is the real hero between her and Raffensperger. During the chaotic period between election day and Jan. 5, 2021, Senate runoff Nguyen emerged as one of the clearest voices of reason coming out of the State legislature.
As one of the most vocal members of the Georgia legislature, Nguyen challenged Giuliani and the Trump campaign’s frivolous allegations of fraud in the 2020 Georgia election. In a 12-minute takedown, she fact-checks a list submitted along with an affidavit by a former Trump campaign worker alleging fraud.
Despite the egregious nature of the claims alleged by Trump and his supporters, Georgia Republicans in both the House and Senate gave his campaign wide latitude to prove non-existent fraud in an election verified multiple times. Nguyen told Atlanta Magazine it was her duty to get to the facts.
“I just knew I had a responsibility to use the limited time I was given to discredit the lies they were putting forward,” told the outlet. “And to do it in a way that was using truth and the facts, without any political assertions.”
Even before the 2020 election, Nguyen was developing a name for herself as someone willing to go to bat for voting rights and fair election administration. In floor remarks debating a 2019 election bill, Nguyen didn’t let up on the flawed reliance on “exact match” for verifying voters.
“Committee assignments came out — my name is misspelled again,” Nguyen tweeted in January 2019. “This is among the many examples why “exact match” is bad policy. We simply cannot strip away the right to vote because of human, clerical error. To those who oppose the repeal: I know how to spell my own last name.”
This reporter watched as a Nguyen clarified that “exact match” was a problem and needed to be tossed. A flawed provision that made it easier for voters to be purged from the voter rolls, “exact match” disproportionately impacted voters of color.
“What message are we trying to send when we enact policies like this that have such inherent flaws?” questioned Nguyen during a February 2019 hearing.
Using herself and state Rep. Renitta Shannon as examples, Nguyen pointed out that if the chamber followed “exact match,” neither legislature would have been able to the vote. Nguyen and Shannon both corrected the spelling of their names, yet due to human error, the responsible official did not update their names in time for them to vote.
She is a marked improvement over 2018 nominee John Barrow who tried to run to the center-right and seemed incapable of meaningfully addressing voter suppression concerns.
The 2022 Democratic slate is now set. In the race for commissioner of labor, Rep. William Boddie bested Nicole Horn. And Charlie Bailey eeked out a win against Kwanza Hall to become the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee. Bailey began the 2022 cycle running for attorney general but later jumped into the lieutenant governor’s race against several highly qualified Black candidates, including Shannon.
The Democratic slate has less than five months to persuade Georgia voters to continue what they started in 2020 and 2021. Adding Nguyen to the ticket could be just the thing to help Democrats win in November 2022.