Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday edged out five GOP challengers in a primary election that tested the Republican firebrand and former President Donald Trump's influence in Georgia.
Greene beat out her closest challenger, Jennifer Strahan, in the crowded primary contest for Georgia's 14th Congressional District, several television networks projected.
The other Republicans in the race were Erin Cunningham, Charles Lutin, James Haygood, and Seth Synstelien.
Greene spent the weekend leading up to Tuesday's primary slamming President Joe Biden. During a "Bikers for Trump" event for former Sen. David Perdue, Greene was brought onstage to chants of "Let's go Brandon!" — a shorthand insult to the president.
She said she felt “great” about her chances Tuesday despite a growing anti-Greene sentiment in her district.
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Greene was first elected to Congress in 2020, and her time in Washington, D.C., has been beset by scandal. In 14 months, the ex-CrossFit coach has transformed herself into a headline-grabbing conservative known more for her wild antics and incendiary comments than for policy.
Greene has called members of her own party "pro-pedophile," picked social media fights with House Democrats, and was stripped of her committee assignments for endorsing the executions of fellow lawmakers and spreading bigoted misinformation. Earlier this year, Greene spoke at a conference hosted by a white nationalist, suggested a number of school shootings had been carried out by government actors, and peddled multiple conspiracy theories.
Though she lacks any real power in Congress, her in-your-face partisan attacks have turned her into one of the most-hated lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But it's that moxie that has helped her build a national profile among conservatives who have cheered her on.
In 2021 and 2022, Greene was fined multiple times for failing to wear a mask on the House floor during the COVID-19 pandemic. A $500 fine was assessed for the first infraction and a $2,500 penalty for each time thereafter. Greene boasted in January that her tab had grown to $90,000. It is believed the tally now surpasses $93,000.
While her theatrics may be a hit with some, other voters in the 14th District said they were fed up with her grandstanding and accused her of putting her personal aspirations ahead of their needs.
"She's an embarrassment," one Rome, Georgia, voter, who asked the Washington Examiner not to reveal her name for fear of retaliation, said. "She seems nice enough, but you get her in front of a microphone, and she goes bonkers!"
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Five voters, backed by the group Free Speech for People, tried to kick Greene off the ballot because of her role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Georgia Administrative Law Judge Charles Beardrot found that voters hadn't produced sufficient evidence to back their claims. The group has since appealed the decision.
Georgia's 14th District includes 10 counties in northwest Georgia, as well as a sliver of Cobb County. Though newly drawn lines for the district added some Democratic voters into the mix, it remains very conservative, and about 70% of voters identified as Republicans. It is likely the winner of Tuesday's contest will go on to represent the district in Congress. House Republicans need to net five seats in the 435-member chamber to win back the majority they lost in 2018.
Ahead of the primary election, Strahan told the Washington Examiner that voters in the district "need a serious representative who wants to actually drive positive change and not just celebrity."
"I think we somehow have lost sight of the fact that politics is supposed to be about service, and instead, it's about a bunch of wannabe celebrities who are just chasing the media likes, and that's just not what it's supposed to be about," she said.
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Strahan, who billed herself as a "no-nonsense conservative who knows how to get things done" and said the 728,551 people in Georgia's 14th District deserve better.
"People are just tired of hypocrisy," Strahan said. "I think people want to see results. I think people shouldn't have to sacrifice effectiveness for their conservative values, and that's the mentality that people have. I also think that people recognize that if they just stay away from the polls or keep their heads in the sand, that it's not actually helping either."