Donald Trump cheers Geoff Duncan calling it quits in Georgia

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Former President Trump is celebrating the news that Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced he will not seek re-election.

Mr. Trump has had Mr. Duncan and the other top GOP leaders in the state  — Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — in his crosshairs since they refused to bow to his demands regarding his stolen election claims.

“He was the one who, along with Governor Brian Kemp, stopped the Georgia State Senate from doing the job they wanted to do on the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Tuesday. “Duncan’s fight against Election Fraud made him unelectable.”

Mr. Duncan told the Atlanta Journal Constitution this week he plans to focus on developing a “GOP 2.0” movement that seeks to move past Mr. Trump‘s influence on the party.

In his statement, Mr. Trump suggested Mr. Duncan is not seeking re-election because he would lose.

Mr. Trump pointed to comments Chip Lake, a former Mr. Duncan aide, gave to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“I think he was an accident, and this is what happens when accidents happen in politics,” Mr. Lake told the newspaper. “They become one and done.”

Mr. Trump said he hopes that with Mr. Duncan out of the way the state Legislature will “build up the courage to expose the large-scale Presidential Election Fraud, which took place in their otherwise wonderful state.”

“Let them just look at the State Senate in Arizona to find out what Leadership and Patriotism is all about!” he said.

Mr. Trump’s insistence the election was rigged against him in battleground states where President Biden was declared the winner is dividing Republicans.

State GOP officials in Georgia said Mr. Biden won fair and square, and that Mr. Trump is promoting baseless claims.

Meanwhile, the Trump-supported probe into the election in Maricopa County, Arizona, is facing stiff pushback from local GOP leaders.

The Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, another Republican, has accused Mr. Trump of pushing “unhinged” allegations.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which is composed of four Republicans and a Democrat, have called on GOP leaders in the state Senate to pull the plug on the audit, saying “your ‘auditors’ are in way over their heads,” and saying the process has made the state a “laughingstock.

“We recognize … that a large percentage of Republicans believe the election was stolen in 2020, and that Donald Trump actually won,” Bill Gates, the vice chair of the board, told reporters. “I want to be clear that I believe Joe Biden won the election.”

“Now it is time to say enough is enough,” Mr. Gates said. “It is time to push back on the Big Lie.”

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