Bipartisan Group of Georgia Leaders Launch The Democracy Defense Project as Part of a Multi-State Effort

Staff Report

Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

Today, the Democracy Defense Project, a bipartisan group of former elected officials and leaders who are committed to free and fair elections, launched in Georgia and several other states. Led by former Governor Nathan Deal, former Governor Roy Barnes, former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, DDP – Georgia will work to defend the transparency, safety, security, and public confidence in the validity of our nation’s electoral system. 

At a time when America’s confidence in the state of our elections and democracy has significantly eroded, Democracy Defense Project brings together trusted leaders to bolster our faith in the integrity of our elections system. Designed to serve as a counterweight to attempts to undermine and sow distrust in election integrity, Democracy Defense Project’s board members will speak up when these instances arise and publicly defend those who have sworn to uphold the rule of law. 

“For far too long, politicians, pundits, and activists have worked overtime to sow distrust in America’s electoral process,” said former Governor Nathan Deal. “We refuse to sit on the sidelines while the bedrock of this great nation is eroded away by misinformation and dangerous political agendas. Our goal is to restore confidence in the electoral process that makes this country exceptional.”

Republican Nathan Deal was the 82nd Governor of Georgia, serving two terms (2011-2019) as the state’s chief executive. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and Georgia Senate.

“Trust in the electoral system and commitment to a peaceful transition of power are vital to the future success of our republic,” said former Governor Roy Barnes. “While it may be 

politically advantageous to undermine America’s core values, it’s a harmful, damaging game with lasting consequences for ‘We the People’.” 

Democrat Roy Barnes was the 80th Governor of Georgia (1999-2003). He served in the Georgia House of Representatives (1992-1998) and State Senate (1974-1990).

“The free and fair elections that American patriots fought and died for are being undermined on a daily basis by a slew of bad actors,” said former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. “Through the Democracy Defense Project, we will use our platform and resources to expose lies, promote truth, and ultimately ensure the future of our great republic.” 

Republican Saxby Chambliss was a United States Senator from Georgia from 2003 to 2015. He previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1995 to 2003.

“Georgia’s elections are secure and fair, and we are fighting to keep it that way,” said former Mayor Shirley Franklin. “When voters from all four corners of our great state cast a ballot, they should be confident that the system works and their vote counts – because it does.” 

Democrat Shirley Franklin was the 58th Mayor of the City of Atlanta, serving two terms (2002-2010). She was the first female mayor of Atlanta and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. 

The Georgia board members are part of a national effort, with a specific focus on battleground states where the possibility of challenges to federal elections may arise.

The organization will use earned and paid media to run a national campaign to raise awareness of efforts to subvert elections across the country and help move us beyond polarizing rhetoric. 

Democracy Defense Project’s Advisory Board includes distinguished leaders with service at the federal, state and local levels; the group’s founding Board members include:

  • Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)

  • Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA)

  • Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) 

  • Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA)

  • Gov. Roy Barnes (D-GA)

  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

  • Sen. John Sununu (R-NH)  

  • Ambassador Richard Swett (D-NH)