Fulton County DA Fani Willis urges voters to polls as she faces primary election challenge

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is framing her reelection bid in Georgia as a fight for the “rule of law,” as she faces increased attacks for her role as the lead prosecutor in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case.

“I am at a point where I need Fulton County voters to get out and vote,” Willis said during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday. “I need people around the country to support me big and small to say that we are going to be a country that still believes in the rule of law.”

The district attorney is up for reelection this year and faces a challenge from attorney Christian Wise Smith in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. If Willis wins, as widely expected, she’s expected in the November election to face Courtney Kramer, who is running unopposed in the GOP primary.

Willis has leapt to national fame for her investigation and indictment of Trump, the ex-president who along with 14 remaining co-defendants are facing felony state charges for conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia and participating in a “criminal enterprise.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case, which is currently on hold with no trial date pending while a state appeals court considers the former president's petition to have Willis disqualified for improper conduct.

During her Monday MSNBC interview, Willis, who was wearing a necklace that spelled out “V-O-T-E,” attacked her Republican opponent as “unqualified,” and argued that Kramer has “never practiced criminal law.”

An Atlanta-based attorney, Kramer practices election law and served as a litigation consultant on Trump’s legal team after the 2020 presidential election. According to Kramer’s LinkedIn, she advised on issues related to “election litigation matters for the Georgia Republican Party and affiliated entities.

Kramer also provided legal assistance to state legislators developing Georgia’s controversial 2021 election law, which led the Major League Baseball Association to relocate its All-Star Game that year.  The Republican's chances of clinching the district attorney seat are slim. Fulton County voted for President Joe Biden, a Democrat, by over 70% in 2020.

Willis, however, isn’t only battling for electoral support this year. The 52-year-old is also facing a legal challenge from Trump’s team that seeks to remove her from the case based on her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who she hired to oversee the investigation into the ex-president. 

Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing into 'misconduct' allegations against her at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 15, 2024. Willis, who brought election interference charges against former US President Donald Trump, acknowledged on February 2, 2024, that she had a romantic relationship with Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired to work on the high-profile case. (Photo by ALYSSA POINTER / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALYSSA POINTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 776022538 ORIG FILE ID: 2006232713

And Republicans in Congress opened an investigation into her use of federal funds earlier this year over misconduct allegations.

Willis called the inquiry “illegitimate” and accused Republicans of trying to attack her “at every level.”

“We are not going to allow people to be attacked while they do their job,” she said. “Having prosecutors that are free from interference ... has to go on for us to live in a free society.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fani Willis makes plea to voters ahead of Georgia primary election