Georgia’s GOP electors stand by Donald Trump amid pressure

Michael McNeely poses for a portrait outside of the state Capitol, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, in Atlanta. McNeely is one of 16 GOP electors under pressure to change their vote following Donald Trump's surprise victory. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

Michael McNeely poses for a portrait outside of the state Capitol, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, in Atlanta. McNeely is one of 16 GOP electors under pressure to change their vote following Donald Trump’s surprise victory. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

They are schoolteachers and high-powered lawyers, longtime party operatives and low-profile volunteers. And now Georgia’s 16 GOP electors have been thrust into the spotlight after Donald Trump’s stunning victory.

Petitions are circulating urging them to withhold their vote for the president-elect and back Hillary Clinton or another candidate instead. Leaflets handed out at anti-Trump protests include their names, addresses and contact information. Their phone lines and in-boxes are jammed with pleas to defy Trump.

Georgia’s 16 GOP electors are all but guaranteed to vote for Trump — each of the 14 reached by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week said they would support him — and their ranks are filled with the stalwart party activists who spend much of their free time fighting for Republican causes.

“I’m getting deluged,” said Michael McNeely, an elector who is also vice chairman of the Georgia GOP. “But for all the efforts of those sending those out, there’s no wavering at all. I’m fully supporting Donald Trump, and I’m not concerned any of us will flip.”

Still, it has fueled the pleas aimed at GOP electors from Clinton supporters and others urging them to be “faithless” and switch their vote. Georgia is one of about 20 states that doesn’t bind electors to the winner of the state’s vote, but there have been relatively few cases where that’s happened. They hope they have another Baoky Vu – an elector forced to resign in August after questioning his support for Trump – in the making.

Read more about who the Georgia GOP electors are – and the pressure they are facing – by clicking right here.

More of the AJC’s post-election coverage:

Trump’s Cobb defeat creates headaches for GOP

Opportunity School District loss a threat to Gov. Deal’s agenda

Georgia Republican could be at center of effort to undo Obamacare

North Carolina vote could affect ‘religious liberty’ debate in Georgia

Trump victory scrambles the field for 2018 Georgia governor’s race

Fort announces run for Atlanta mayor, seeks decriminalization of pot

Trump’s win could mean big changes for Georgia politics


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