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Politics Republican Philadelphia elections official targeted by Trump resigning

22:31  30 november  2021
22:31  30 november  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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A Republican elections official in Philadelphia who was singled out by former President Trump is resigning from his post to join a government watchdog group.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Republican Philadelphia elections official targeted by Trump resigning © Getty Republican Philadelphia elections official targeted by Trump resigning

Al Schmidt, the only GOP member of Philadelphia's election board who defended the results of the 2020 presidential election, announced on Tuesday that he is resigning as city commissioner to join the Committee of Seventy as its next president and CEO.

"It's been an honor to serve the citizens of Philadelphia for the past ten years as City Commissioner," Schmidt wrote on Twitter.

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He will assume his new role at the watchdog organization on Jan. 3, according to a statement on the group's website.

Schmidt, who was reelected as city commissioner in 2019, still has two years left in his term, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. He announced in January that he would not run for a fourth term in 2023.

The commissioner thanked his staff, department employees and colleagues for their partnership during his tenure in "providing the voters of Philadelphia with well-run, secure elections."

Schmidt was the target of criticism by Trump and others who rejected last year's election results.

In a tweet days after the election was called for then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump said Schmidt - whom he dubbed a RINO, or Republican in name-only - was "being used big time by the Fake News Media to explain how honest things were with respect to the Election in Philadelphia."

"He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty. We win!" Trump added in the tweet.

The then-president's comments came after Schmidt appeared on CNN to talk about the claims of voter fraud in the city, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The commissioner said he and his staff members had received death threats since the city started counting ballots for the 2020 presidential election. He testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration about threats he received in the aftermath of the election, some of which involved his three young children.

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During an interview for "60 Minutes" he said he could not understand the controversy surrounding the counting of "eligible votes cast by voters."

In November, he said "bad actors" were "lying" about the vote-tabulation process.

Schmidt in January said the criticism he received for defending the integrity of the vote did not contribute to his decision not to seek reelection in 2023, instead saying such a suggestions would "be like capitulating to the psychological terrorists," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In July, the Committee of Seventy revealed that David Thornburgh, its current president and CEO who has served since 2014, would retire from his position in January, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He is reportedly moving to become a senior advisor to the group for matters involving drawing legislative district lines and the effort to make the city's primaries open to voters who are not affiliated with a party.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!