Marjorie Taylor Greene’s electoral problem started in Walker County, Georgia

Contributed Photo by Mike Rasbury / Mike Rasbury is one of five residents of Georgia’s home district 14 who joined a court case to have Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene removed from the ballot for her involvement in the attack on the US Capitol.

The Northwest Georgia district, represented in Congress by US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, is solidly – ​​but not uniformly – Republican. Some areas bordering Atlanta, such as Paulding County, had just 64% support for Donald Trump when he unsuccessfully ran for president in 2020.

But the ongoing constitutional challenge to Greene’s re-election efforts isn’t emerging from any of those lighter red areas. It comes from a rare group of voters – Democrats – in deep red Walker County, where 79% of voters favored Trump.

They said the voting challenge is part of ongoing work to improve political civility and stand up for what is right under the law.

David Boyle, leader of the Walker County Democrats, said in a phone interview that he helped bring together the five challengers legally protesting Greene’s candidacy. Based on a provision in the Civil War-era constitution that bans insurgents from holding federal office, the five challengers seek to prove that Greene participated in an insurgency, regardless of their role in violating U.S. Capitols played by Trump supporters on January 6 who, like them, didn’t believe Joe Biden’s election should stand.

In a phone interview, Boyle said many Northwest Georgia Democrats had debated whether Greene’s rhetoric had crossed a legal boundary, as had others from across the country. When he was contacted by the organizers of the effort — a Massachusetts group called Free Speech for People, which brought similar cases against representatives in Arizona and North Carolina — he signed on.

“So we created the link between voters in our district and a national group that has the resources to actually take legal action,” Boyle said. “And I was happy to make that connection. I was the one who actually knew about it and made the connection for the voters in that county.”

He said he knew three of the petitioners and that they were all politically active. According to the legal filing, the ballot challengers are David Rowan, Donald Guyatt, Mike Rasbury, Ruth Demeter and Daniel Cooper.

In a telephone interview, Rasbury said he was at the hearing all day on April 22 when Greene testified in an Atlanta courtroom. It was “Trump City,” he said, and the crowd cheered when Greene entered — until the judge called for an orderly courtroom. Video of the entire hearing can be viewed on the organization’s website.

“Greene didn’t know anything, she didn’t know anyone, she didn’t remember, but she smiled a lot and was very sympathetic in her denials,” Rasbury said.

Rasbury, a retiree who lives in LaFayette, said he believes the case will go to the US Supreme Court, adding that he was committed to the case to the end.

Boyle, a Noble resident, said the hearing was not surprising.

“Ms. Greene’s memory was remarkably poor when it came to anything that could potentially get her into trouble, but was excellent when it came to her attorney’s question, which would tend to exonerate her,” Boyle said. “It’s one thing to say, ‘I wish you’d go and do something,’ and nobody pays attention to it. It’s another thing to urge people to do it, and they do it. I think that crossed the line when people actually did what they proposed.”

This issue is far from over, said Rowan, a ballot challenger who lives in Chickamauga. He said in a phone interview that he didn’t think Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger would side with Trump and Greene on the issue.

“It was a well-planned uprising. Everyone, the whole bunch,” he said. “You can quote me: She has to go.”

The judge presiding over the hearing, Charles Beaudrot, will make a recommendation to Raffensberger, and he will make the final decision on Greene’s eligibility for re-election.

Referring to Greene, Rowan said this voting challenge will “take a pawn off the board,” but there are key players who have also taken an oath to protect the Constitution — and in his opinion, they have committed treason.

(READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene tries to defeat legal challenge to her candidacy)

Greene could not be reached for comment, but she appeared on Tuesday night’s “Real America with Dan Ball” on the One America News Network. In the interview, she said she was initially upset that the hearing was going to be televised, but now she’s glad it did.

“The whole world has seen what liars these lawyers are and how desperate they are to hold on to power and impose their far-left agenda in the United States. And they’re liars,” Greene said. “They call themselves freedom of speech for people, but still they could come into Georgia from New York and Massachusetts or where they lived and invade our state and try to take over ballots and control who’s on the ballot.”

Greene did not go into details about the allegations, but went on to say that their constituents have the right to choose who they vote for and are upset about the election challenge. She also said she is confident she will prevail and stay in the running.

Greene won her seat in 2020 with 74.7% of the vote after her Democratic challenger was eliminated from the race. In the 2020 Republican primary, she won 40.3% of the vote in a field of nine. In the first runoff, she won 57.1% of the vote, defeating John Cowan, a neurosurgeon from Rome. She faces several Republican and Democratic challengers this year.

Rasbury said he was not concerned by Greene’s claims that the voting challenge effort was being funded by large overseas organizations.

“These are the only guys in the United States who got that [nerve] enough to step on the plate and say, ‘No, you can’t do that,'” Rasbury said. “Nobody else wanted to do it, and I don’t mind putting my name on it. That was a month ago and things have evolved since then, but I still feel the same way.”

Good with Biden

It’s a good time to be a Democrat in Northwest Georgia, Boyle said. He believes there are many voters who will vote against Greene, but they are silent because their supporters are “so menacing and mean,” he said.

Politics is a topic Boyle says he doesn’t usually bring up, but he’s welcome to discuss it if someone else does. With a laugh, he said he was introduced as a Democrat at a recent meeting of the Walker County Historical Society. He said he was asked about inflation and he replied that it was leveling off, adding that employment and economic growth were good.

“I’m fine being with myself [President Joe] Biden,” Boyle said.

Boyle said he stocks his church’s pantry, is president of the historical society, chairs the Marsh House board, works with the Arts Guild along with his work for the Democratic Party. Like him, he said, many Democrats are active in their communities and in politics, serving on boards and serving through their churches.

“They’re just known to be compassionate people, so when someone finds out they’re Democrats, it kind of fits and the general public pretty much accepts it [of them],” he said.

No one has ever argued politics in person, but Boyle said he received some rude gestures while driving – and he attributes it to his left-facing bumper stickers. But being in the political minority does not prevent him from standing up for his values.

“Having a healthy community means examining what would and wouldn’t work in terms of politics,” Boyle said, and north-west Georgia has a lot of problems. Walker County has a low rate of college literacy, a high dropout rate, a high rate of teenage pregnancy, low wages, a lack of affordable housing and a need to improve education, he said.

Walker County Democrats are looking for hard-working people, “not just those who are well-laundered and well-funded,” Boyle said. “The local politicians care about the local economy and the local business class.

(READ MORE: Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers passed Marjorie Taylor Greene in the first quarter of 2022)

Rasbury said he attended the Walker County Democrats’ rally of kindness and courtesy organized by Boyle in late March in hopes Americans can push back on the “combat mentality” that dominates politics. There were about 100 people from multiple districts there, he said, with music, poetry, food and good fellowship.

He didn’t want to discuss which Democrat he’s backing to replace Greene, but said there are three good candidates in the running, “and that’s exciting.” According to his wife’s suggestion, Rasbury agreed with a chuckle that being a Democrat in “a red zone” was lonely, but said he established his political identity as a young man when he returned from serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam came home.

“Nixon is running for re-election,” Rasbury said. “And between Watergate and 18 minutes of lost tape and the Republicans saying, ‘They got you, Dick, you gotta stop.’ I pretty much knew which side I would be on for the rest of my life.”

Although the case against Greene brought him into the national spotlight, Rasbury said he doesn’t typically discuss politics with friends or family. But he also has a bumper sticker on his car — just so people don’t get confused.

It says, “Not a Republican.”

Contact Andrew Wilkins at or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @tweetatwilkins.