- In his new book, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan of Georgia rejected the party’s fealty to Trump.
- Duncan remarked on criticism that he’s faced in affirming the state’s 2020 election results.
- “Has the former president poisoned our system to the degree that I’m the curiosity?” he asked.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan of Georgia, a conservative who has defended the veracity of the 2020 presidential election results against allegations of voter fraud, said that he isn’t “sacrificing a thing” to appease former President Donald Trump.
The lieutenant governor, emphasizing his work last year to elect GOP candidates in the Peach State, laments that the chatter surrounding “the impending end” of his political career was driven not by his lack of commitment to party ideals, but because he examined the party’s 2020 loss and “moved on to fight again next cycle.”
In his newly-released book, “GOP 2.0,” Duncan spelled out how he would help build a more independent and inclusive party, which is especially important in Georgia, a rapidly-diversifying state that was narrowly won by President Joe Biden last fall.
But he also makes it clear that he has been a longtime adherent to conservative principles and won’t let any one individual – notably Trump – dictate his beliefs.
“I’d left people on both sides of the aisle scratching their heads,” he wrote, pointing to a March article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled ‘The Curious Case of Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.'”
The article, written by political reporter Greg Bluestein, explained how most Georgia Republicans were tying themselves to the former president or “trying to avoid his wrath,” while the lieutenant governor rejected such overtures.
Duncan said that his actions simply reflected normalcy, something that he said was lost amid the GOP push to placate Trump.
“When the party’s headliner – the president – lost, I was disappointed,” he wrote. “Like other lieutenant governors, I triple-checked to make sure our elections ran free and fair; they did. I studied the loss and moved on to fight again next cycle. Nothing unusual there.”
He added: “Of course, other Republicans didn’t follow tradition in 2020. They took a bizarre turn and created an alternative universe where facts, truth, conservative principles, and institutional respect didn’t matter. They followed a demagogue with a magical grip over their voters … They intentionally misled their constituents and spread misinformation for personal gain on a scale never seen in American elections. They convinced millions of Republicans they were right; they made me look like the crazy one.”
Duncan, who warned that Trump’s criticism of Georgia’s voting processes would imperil the party in future contests, saw his worst case scenario come true with the loss of both US Senate seats formerly held by Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler after critical runoff elections this past January.
In the book, the lieutenant governor wrote of the incredulity of being questioned by others about his principles.
“Is it hard to understand that a husband and father of three boys chose to stick by the truth? That a conservative stood up for the rule of law? That a lieutenant governor did his duty and followed the traditions that have kept American democracy vibrant for nearly 250 years? Has the former president poisoned our system to the degree that I’m the curiosity?” he asked.
He added: “Apparently yes because everyone now expects Republicans to sacrifice every principle to satisfy one person. I’m here to tell you I’m not sacrificing a thing to placate the former president.”
Duncan, who was elected alongside Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in 2018, announced earlier this year that he would not run for reelection in 2022 and would instead focus on the GOP 2.0 independent movement to expand the Republican coalition.