Georgia Republican convicted in Jan. 6 riot leaves House primary debate against former Trump administration official

Georgia Republican Chuck Hand, a congressional candidate convicted of a crime related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, walked out of a televised House primary runoff debate on Sunday.

Hand, a construction superintendent and vice chair of the Taylor County Republican Party, is competing against fellow Republican Wayne Johnson, a former U.S. Department of Education official during the Trump administration, in a primary runoff election from June 18. Georgia’s 2nd congressional district.

The winner of the Republican nomination will succeed the outgoing 16-term Democratic president. Representative Sanford Bishop in November.

The debate sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club and hosted at the Georgia Public Broadcasting studio began Sunday with Johnson answering a question from the panel about economic policies he would support in Congress that would help families in southwest Georgia in financial difficulty. Johnson argued that voters concerned about inflation and the cost of gasoline, groceries, insurance and housing were unhappy with President Biden and Bishop’s economics and were turning toward “the Trump and Johnson economy,” before a second panelist then asked Hand a question.

The panelist asked Hand what he thought about House Republicans’ plan for a new farm bill and whether he would support a “controversial proposal to cut food assistance for low-income Americans.” In response, Hand delivered a prepared statement.

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“My name is Chuck Hand, lifelong resident of the 2nd District. I have worked side by side with the residents of the 2nd District to solve problems since 2018. I only saw this man next to me come over when it “It was election time and wanting to run for office,” Hand said. “I’ve been hauling tires around southwest Georgia, meeting voters and building relationships in our communities for years now. I’m not interested in debating 2nd District issues with a man who doesn’t doesn’t even live – especially the one who orchestrates the attacks against my wife.

“I’m more concerned about beating Sanford Bishop, representing you, passing the America First agenda and putting Donald Trump back in the White House,” Hand said. “This race is very simple. It’s either the money of the 8th district or the hearts of the 2nd district. The choice is yours. It’s dollars versus currency. Now this is where I go back in my truck and I’m going back to southwest Georgia because I have two races to win.

Hand then walked away from the podium and left the stage.

“Aren’t you staying?” » asked presenter Donna Lowry. “Are you leaving, sir? OK.”

“Wow, I don’t even know how to react,” Johnson said.

Hand is one of at least four people convicted of Offenses related to January 6 candidates for Congress this year, all Republicans. He was sentenced to 20 days in federal prison and six months of probation.

Hand refused to debate Johnson after Michael Nixon, who finished third in the quadruple…

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