Open in App
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Newsletter
  • WashingtonExaminer

    Georgia Republican storms off primary debate stage after one question

    By Jack Birle,


    During a Republican primary debate for Georgia 's 2nd Congressional District on Sunday, Chuck Hand walked out over issues with his opponent Wayne Johnson.

    Johnson was asked the first question of the debate sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club, but when Hand was asked his first question, he delivered a statement unrelated to the question asked regarding the farm bill and bashed Johnson instead.

    A debate between Republican candidates hoping to represent Southwest Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District was cut short yesterday when one candidate, convicted for illegally demonstrating inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, abruptly left the stage.

    — GPB News (@gpbnews) June 10, 2024

    "I’ve only seen this man next to me come around when it’s election time, wanting to run for office," Hand said.

    "I’m not interested in debating the issues of the 2nd District with a man who doesn’t even reside in it, especially one who orchestrates attacks on my wife," he added. “I’m more concerned about beating Sanford Bishop, representing you, and passing the America First agenda and putting Donald Trump back in the White House."

    Hand was referring to a press conference in May by former candidate Michael Nixon endorsing Johnson, and raising past criminal charges, which were later dismissed. Hand was convicted of a misdemeanor for his participation in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

    During that press conference, Nixon also argued Hand had "a lot of baggage" and brought up past drug charges alleged against Hand's wife before the two were married.

    After bashing Johnson during his debate remarks, he then announced he would be getting "back in my truck" and would return to "southwest Georgia because I got two races to win," before walking off the debate stage.

    “It’s perfectly fine to attack me as a candidate. I expect that. But to come out and publicly attack my wife, that’s a completely different situation,” Hand told reporters after leaving the debate, according to the Georgia Recorder.

    “My wife has paid her debt to society, long before I ever met her. And she’ll tell you it was the best thing that ever happened to her. It changed her life for the better and now she walks with the Lord," he added.

    Johnson remained on the stage for the remainder of the debate, taking questions as Hand's podium remained empty. After the debate concluded, he told reporters voters should consider Hand's actions of walking out of the debate.

    “I would like to assume that Chuck Hand’s departure, the way in which he did it today, was his withdrawal from the race,” Johnson said, according to the Associated Press. “But it certainly should cause people to pause and think about why he did it and what he was trying to get by doing it.”


    Hand and Johnson are set to face off in a runoff for the GOP nomination for Georgia's 2nd Congressional District, as they both seek to oust longtime incumbent Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) in November.

    The two were the top finishers in the primary last month, but neither reached the required 50% threshold. Johnson was the top finisher with nearly 45%, while Hand finished with nearly 32%.

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular
    WashingtonExaminer1 day ago

    Comments / 0