'Insanity': GOP Georgia Official Slams Pro-Trump Calls for Senate Runoff Election Boycott

A Republican Georgia election official has denounced calls from supporters of President Donald Trump to boycott crucial runoff elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate as "insanity."

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, blasted a press conference from pro-Trump lawyers and conspiracy theorists Sidney Powell and Lin Wood during a CNN appearance on Wednesday. The lawyers urged Trump supporters to not vote in the "rigged" January 5 runoffs, with Wood specifically calling out Sterling and demanding that he is "not going to sell out our votes to China."

"Crazy. It's insanity," Sterling said in reaction to Wood's remarks. "It's just so baseless from any sense of reality. It's detached from reality. And yes, I'm a Republican, I'm going to stay a Republican. I'm going to fight for the sanctity and sanity of a party that has been a big part of America and that I've been fighting for since I was 15 years old."

"Encouraging anybody not to vote is ridiculous," added Sterling. "I can't even... I've gotten to a point now where nothing is incredible to me. The president has to know at this point that he's lost."

Gabriel Sterling
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, speaks during a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia on November 6, 2020. Jessica McGowan/Getty

Incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are facing close races with Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. A victory by either Perdue or Loeffler will keep control of the Senate in Republican hands. However, Democrats will control the Senate if they sweep the runoffs, since deciding votes would be cast by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an evenly split chamber.

Despite the calls for a boycott, Trump is expected to campaign for Perdue and Loeffler in Georgia on Saturday. Republican party officials will be hoping that the boycott threat does not gain steam since the GOP losing its fragile hold on the Senate would mean full Democratic control of Congress when President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.

Newsweek reached out to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for comment.

Sterling rebuked Trump's rhetoric that the election was "stolen" from him on Tuesday, warning that "someone is going to get killed" after Georgia officials received death threats from some of the president's supporters due to Biden being declared the winner of the state. Republicans who control the state's elections confirmed and certified Biden's win after audits and recounts failed to change the election outcome.

Biden bested Trump in Georgia by more than 12,000 votes, a narrow but clear win that delivered the state's 16 Electoral College votes to a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since former President Bill Clinton's victory in 1992. He held an Electoral College advantage of 306 votes to Trump's 232, with 270 required to win, the same margin that Trump earned against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Biden also won almost 7 million more votes than Trump nationally, earning the most votes of any presidential candidate in history with over 81 million. Regardless, Trump has continued to push conspiracy theories that claim, without any credible evidence, that he was a victim of massive voter fraud and really "won" the election because he was ahead in some states that he lost before all the votes were counted.