EXCLUSIVE – Former Trump administration official Patrick Witt on Monday formally launched his campaign for Congress, joining a large field of contenders aiming to win the Republican nomination in the 2022 race to succeed GOP Rep. Jody Hice in Georgia's 10th Congressional District.
"I am running to be a representative of the America First values held by the people here in the Georgia 10th congressional district," Witt said in a statement shared first with Fox News.
Witt, who served as deputy chief of staff at the United States Office of Personnel Management during the Trump administration, last November joined the then-president’s legal team that unsuccessfully contested the results of the 2020 election in Georgia and a handful of other key battleground states where President Biden narrowly edged Trump.
In his statement, Witt took aim at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr. Trump has heavily criticized Kemp and Raffensperger for not helping to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia.
Hice is primary-challenging Raffensperger for secretary of state next year rather than run for reelection.
"Year after year, the Georgia political establishment from both parties has failed us. However, the stunning absence of leadership from Brian Kemp, Brad Raffensperger, and Chris Carr has left me unable to continue to stand by and see our state and country falter," Witt charged as he explained why he launched his campaign.
Witt, who is expected to make his push for election integrity a cornerstone of his congressional campaign, becomes the 11th Republican to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in Georgia’s 10th district, which covers a large chunk of rural areas and small cities between Atlanta and Augusta in the central-eastern part of the state.
Among those who have already announced their candidacy are former Rep. Paul Broun, a fiscal conservative who represented the district from 2007-2015.
Georgia, once a solidly red state, has become a crucial battleground. Last November Biden topped Trump by just under 12,000 votes in Georgia, becoming the first Democrat to win the state in a presidential election in more than a quarter century. And the Democrats narrowly swept the state’s twin Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections, giving them the Senate majority for the first time in six years. But in the 10th District, Hice easily won reelection by roughly 25 points.
Witt, a starting quarterback at Parkview High School in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was a three-year starter on Yale University’s football team, where he won athletic and academic honors. He grabbed national attention in his senior year when he chose to play in "The Game," the famed annual Ivy League football matchup between Yale and Harvard University, over keeping an interview with the Rhodes Scholarship Trust. He was then faced with a report that the scholarship interview was revoked following an informal sexual assault complaint against him.
Witt went on to attend Harvard Law School, graduating with honors and also becoming a leading voice in speaking out against the dangers of undermining due process rights.
Before joining the Trump administration, Witt worked at McKinsey and Company, a top American based worldwide management consulting firm.