Debbie Rauers, a Republican member of the Board of Elections in Savannah, Georgia, assumed the identity of a Black colleague after allegedly committing a hit-and-run.
A report by the Savannah Business Journal says Rauers claimed she was Malinda Hodges, a Black member on Chatham County Board of Elections, after she allegedly hit Christina Magaña, a young Latina organizer outside the Savannah Civic Center.
Magaña told the news outlet she had secured permits for a food truck to support a “Party at the Polls” event to bolster voter turnout in the Georgia Senate runoff elections.
“We had a food truck, which I had a permit for and I applied for a parking space and received one,” Magaña said. “Just as the food truck was pulling up –– I had cleared the space for them –– this lady pulls up into the spot, and she stops and parks and takes the space. I wasn’t sure if she was not aware of what was going on in her surroundings. I asked her if she would mind if we trade spots… there was one next to her. Her response was, ‘Who are you, and do you have permits?’ I responded,’Yes. …’”
What Magaña describes next is allegedly when Rauers falsely claims to be her Black colleague before striking Magaña with her car.
“She said ‘I’m Linda with the Board of Elections.’ I think that’s what she said. I take two steps back, and she yells, ‘Get your butt out of the way. Do you want me to run you over?’ And she then hit me with her car.”
Rauers denies Magaña’s claims, and says the incident didn’t happen that way: “She asked me to move my car, and I moved my car. She was standing in front of it, practically sitting on the hood. I hit the horn. She asked me to go in reverse, that is all there was to it.”
The SBJ reports that Rauers quickly ended the interview after stating, “What is happening to our country? Oh my God, Oh my God.”
Later in the evening in an interview with Lou Phelps of the Coastal Empire News, Rauers reportedly said “I’m just so sick of young Black kids shoving their phones in my face. I’m just so sick of these young Black kids.”
If authorities arrest Rauers and charge her, she could also face removal from her position on the Board of Elections, according to SBJ’s report.
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