Greene’s divisive politics will be tested in the Republican primary

With millions raised to defend her seat in Congress and five other Republicans running for him, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene faced her first re-election Tuesday in a GOP primary testing how her conservative Georgia voters judge her tumultuous tenure as a freshman.

Greene, 47, became a celebrity on the far-right fringe of the Republican Party when she was elected two years ago when she echoed former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, delving into conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and partisan attacks launched critics said encouraged racism and violence.

Greene stayed in the primary in Georgia’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday after a failed attempt to disqualify her from opposing voters. They argued that Greene engaged in an insurrection by encouraging the January 6, 2021 insurrection that disrupted Congressional confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The Georgian foreign minister and an administrative judge dismissed the complaints.

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Still, other Republicans refused to give Greene a clear run for re-election. Though her first term gained loyal supporters, others in the GOP were embarrassed.

At the top of the list of Republicans seeking to oust Greene in the primary was Jennifer Strahan, founder of a healthcare consulting firm in suburban Atlanta, who presented herself to voters as “no-nonsense conservatives.”

“This is not the time for rogue politicians who just want to hear themselves speak,” Strahan said in a campaign ad, without naming Greene. In another, she bluntly declared, “Our current US representative is not doing her job.”

Greene was stripped of her committee duties last year by House Democrats who accused her of promoting violent and hateful conspiracies. In recent months, Greene has been suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and speaking at an event organized by a white nationalist where the crowd chanted “Putin!” after Russia invaded Ukraine.

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Green was largely unrepentant. In a recent campaign ad posted on her Facebook page, she called Biden and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “Communist Democrats” who “hate America, hate God, and hate our way of life.”

Greene proved popular enough that she raised more than $9 million for her re-election campaign, making her one of the top fundraisers of the year in Congress, according to the Federal Election Commission. Greene spent more than $6.6 million before the primary.

Strahan’s $391,000 in donations fell far short of Greene, but eclipsed those of other Republican contenders — retired physician Charles Lutin, engineer James Haygood, Marine Corps veteran Seth Synstelien and logistics manager Eric Cunningham.

The Greene District, which straddles a section of northwest Georgia from Metro Atlanta to the state line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been drawn to Republicans even after lawmakers slightly shifted its boundaries during last year’s redistricting.

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Against all odds, three Democrats fought for a chance to challenge Greene in November. Army veteran Marcus Flowers led the Democratic field with more than $8.1 million. He faced small business owner Hollie McCormack and Wendy Davis, a former Rome city commissioner, in the district’s Democratic primary.

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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/05/24/greenes-divisive-politics-face-test-in-republican-primary/ Greene’s divisive politics will be tested in the Republican primary

Sarah Y. Kim

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