A defiant US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene easily defeated five fellow Republicans on Tuesday in a primary race that showed her conservative Georgia constituents standing steadfastly beside her after a turbulent freshman term.
Greene showed no signs of mellowing in her victory speech late Tuesday. She called, as she has in the past, for the impeachment of US President Joe Biden and dismissed his election as the product of “fraudulent electoral votes.” She likened pandemic mask and vaccine mandates to “medical tyranny,” and bemoaned “the cruel and illegal treatment of many nonviolent January 6 protesters.”
Greene called Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell one of Congress’ “failed leaders” and said to loud applause that she’s part of a “majority who even now wants to see Hillary Clinton in jail.”
“Sending me back to Washington will send a message to the bloodsucking establishment: It is we who will set the policy agenda for the next decade and not them,” Greene said. She added: “We’re going to start speaking the truth more forcefully and more loudly than ever before.”
Greene, 47, will be back on the ballot in November facing the winner of a three-way Democratic primary in northwest Georgia’s 14th District, a seat drawn to give Republicans a huge advantage.
Greene became a celebrity of the Republican Party’s far-right fringe with her election two years ago as she embraced former US President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, and engaged in conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.
Greene spoke at an event organized by a white nationalist where the crowd chanted “Putin!” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and launched other partisan attacks that critics said promoted racism and violence.
Greene remained on the primary ballot Tuesday in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District after a failed effort to disqualify her by opposing voters. They argued Greene engaged in insurrection by encouraging the January 6, 2021, riot that disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Georgia’s secretary of state and an administrative law judge dismissed the claims.
Still, fellow Republicans refused to give Greene a free ride to reelection. Though her first term won loyal followers, it left others in the GOP embarrassed.
Leading the slate of Republicans running to oust Greene in the primary was Jennifer Strahan, founder of a suburban Atlanta health care advisory firm who pitched herself to voters as a “no-nonsense conservative.”
“This is not the time for unserious politicians who just want to hear themselves talk,” Strahan said in one campaign ad, without mentioning Greene by name. In another, she stated bluntly: “Our current US representative isn’t doing her job.”
Greene was stripped of her committee assignments last year by House Democrats who accused her of spreading violent and hateful conspiracies. In recent months, Greene got banned from Twitter for spreading coronavirus misinformation.
Addressing the policy of employer-mandated proof of vaccination, Greene said it was “just like the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.”
The GOP lawmaker has also come under attack for promoting conspiracy theories explicitly antisemitic.
In 2018, she theorized that the Rothschild family was involved in starting California wildfires using lasers from space. Invoking conspiratorial control by the Rothschild banking family over world events is a centuries-old antisemitic stereotype, and it is also a theme in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory that Greene has promoted.
But Green has been largely unrepentant. In a campaign ad posted recently to her Facebook page, she calls 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 reelection bid, placing her among the year’s top fundraisers in Congress, according to the Federal Election Commission. Greene spent more than $6.6 million before the primary.
Strahan’s $391,000 in fundraising trailed far behind Greene but dwarfed that of other Republican contenders — retired physician Charles Lutin, engineer James Haygood, Marine Corps veteran Seth Synstelien and logistics executive Eric Cunningham.
Spanning a stretch of northwest Georgia from metro Atlanta to the state line at Chattanooga, Tennessee, Greene’s district was drawn to favor Republicans even after state lawmakers slightly shifted its boundaries during redistricting last year.
Even with the odds against them, three Democrats competed for a shot at challenging Greene in November. Army veteran Marcus Flowers led the Democratic field with more than $8.1 million raised. He faced small business owner Hollie McCormack and Wendy Davis, a former Rome city commissioner, in the district’s Democratic primary.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.