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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Taylor Greene is Facing GOP Challengers in Coming District Election

Jennifer Strahan promotes herself to voters as a mother, a Christian, and a conservative. She frequently passes over the fellow Republican she intends to oust later this spring: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

That’s because nearly everyone in Greene’s congressional district in northwest Georgia already has an opinion on her, whose excessive speech has resulted in her being removed from committee assignments in Washington and her personal Twitter account being permanently suspended.

In an interview, Strahan, the 35-year-old founder of a suburban Atlanta health care consultancy business, said, “You don’t necessarily have to go around and tell people what she has done or said.” “It’s well-known.”

Greene has emerged as one of the most prominent voices of the GOP’s far-right fringe in her first time in Congress, promoting racist and antisemitic clichés, conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and vaccinations, and adopting former President Donald Trump’s falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen. Strahan is one of a tiny handful of opponents running for reelection in Georgia’s May 24 primary who say that they can offer Republican ideas without the circus.

In an interview, Charles Lutin, 69, a retired physician and Air Force flight surgeon who is running against Greene, said, “I think people in this area are basically weary of her bullshit.” “It’s not like 95 percent of people are sick of her. But I believe it is a sizable majority.”

The election is taking place in one of the country’s most important political battlegrounds. President Joe Biden became the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992 in 2020. In the Senate, the state is presently represented by two Democrats. The Senate and governorship contests in the autumn are hotly contested, with Republicans trying to reclaim lost territory.

However, there is a sense of fatigue in some parts of Greene’s region as a result of the nation’s overheated politics.

David Harvey, an 85-year-old retiree from Rome, Georgia, voted for Trump in 2016, but he claims the previous president’s divisiveness caused many conservatives in Georgia to stay home rather than vote Republican. He claimed he wouldn’t vote for Greene because he feels he “rode Trump’s coattails” to fame for the wrong reasons.

“You don’t want to become a national figure because your committee duties were taken away,” Harvey remarked.

Greene did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Her district, which runs from Atlanta’s outskirts to Chattanooga’s outskirts, is solidly Republican. Greene will also have a significant funding lead over her opponents.

Through the end of last year, her campaign had raised roughly $7.5 million, including a $250 gift from Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson. In comparison, Strahan and Lutin reported raising less than $120,000 as of December 31.

Greene’s power can be seen on county roads leading into the Appalachian mountains, where her red, white, and blue campaign billboards abound. “Flood the polls,” they say, and “Save America from Communism.” “Trump: He’ll Be Back” is written on bumper stickers.

New congressional redistricting passed by the GOP-controlled state Legislature may help Republicans beat Greene by bringing the district closer to the Atlanta metro.

In Paulding County, it already contains flourishing exurbs like Hiram, a once-quiet railroad town about 35 miles from the city that is now a bustling bedroom community. However, it now includes a portion of Cobb County, a central component of the metro region and a former GOP bastion that has progressively drifted to the left during the Trump period.

Because of the changes, Greene may not be able to depend primarily on Trump’s supporters in rural areas of her district, and will have to battle for moderate voters who are less receptive to her divisive ideas.

“Republicans around the country, as well as Republicans in that Georgia district, understand and want to look to the future, and what is best for the country,” said Bobbie Kilberg, a well-known national GOP contributor who helped arrange a recent Strahan fundraiser in Washington. “And Marjorie isn’t one of them.”

The new maps “did not do (Greene) any favors,” according to Tom Pounds, who quit as Republican Party chairman in sparsely populated Dade County last year for a variety of reasons, including Greene and the GOP’s statewide division.

However, because of her far-right, rural-area backing, Pounds believes she will be difficult to defeat.

Greene’s Republican opponents are sharpening their voter appeals ahead of the primary.

Strahan is promoting herself as the drama-free conservative alternative to Greene. She pledges to support Trump’s agenda and against the “extreme left.” She said she was driven to run for Congress because of her 6-year-old son and “a lot of really progressive legislation” that might “possibly take away many of his freedoms if we don’t stand up” in the United States.

But she claims she has no desire to be a “famous.”

Lutin, whose yard signs depict a stethoscope with his name, is a more moderate figure. He describes himself as a “anti-Trumpist” who advocates for lower government expenditure. He does, however, push for increased taxes on the wealthy and supports cooperation.

Greene’s “hate and obvious antisemitism,” according to Lutin, is her comparison of House mask regulations — which Greene has been penalized for regularly breaching — to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. However, some district GOP officials, according to Lutin, are aghast at the prospect of Greene facing primary opposition, particularly in the district’s rural and northern portions.

“There’s been blatant hostility,” Lutin added.

Greene, for one, has been campaigning in the area recently, receiving standing ovations when she discusses backing an impeachment motion against Biden. But she’s also working on her national image, recently appearing in Cincinnati with JD Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and a vocal Trump supporter vying for a Senate seat in Ohio.

“Each and every assault.” Every single untruth. Greene tweeted last year, before her personal account was permanently deleted, that “every smear enhances my network of support at home and around the country.”

Greene’s dislike has boosted Democratic fundraising, with Army veteran Marcus Flowers donating $4.6 million by the end of last year. Three other Democrats running against Greene in November’s general election raised over $2 million in total.

Holly McCormack, a 37-year-old small-business owner and “dirt road Democrat” from Ringgold, near the Tennessee border, was recently refused away from a Greene town hall in her area.

According to McCormack, her team found 12,000 prospective Democratic voters who had recently relocated into the area but had not yet registered. Still, she recognizes that she’ll need Republican support to win, and she’s made efforts to broaden her appeal — including hosting a dinner with the Harley-Davidson Club in rural Walker County “so they can see I don’t have horns.”

“Appealing to Democrats alone is a hopeless game,” McCormack added.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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