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Georgia GOP grapples with 'fraud' distraction

Lt. Gov. Duncan pleads to end "half truths and lies."

ATLANTA — Georgia's Republican Lt. Governor pleaded with supporters of President Donald Trump to set aside "half truths and lies" and move past unproven allegations of election fraud.

Geoff Duncan made the plea during an interview Tuesday on CNN.  

"Short term, we run the risk of alienating voters for our senate race that is coming upon us for Sen. Loeffler and Sen. Perdue. And we need them," Duncan said. "Long term, I think we hurt the brand of our Republican party, which is bigger than one person."

Supporters of President Trump persisted in protesting the election shortly after Duncan spoke.

About a dozen of them met outside the Capitol – demanding investigations into the election that passed 28 days ago.  

"They want us to turn out for January 5?" asked Debbie Dooley, an Atlanta Tea Party founder who organized the protest.  

Dooley says Trump supporters want "elite" Republicans like Duncan and Gov. Brian Kemp to step up on behalf of the president, who has protested "fraud" in the Nov. 3 election without producing substantial evidence. 

RELATED: Barr: No evidence of fraud that’d change outcome of presidential election

"If they see lack of action with Republican elected officials, I think they may just sit at home as a sign of protest," Dooley said of the Jan. Senate runoffs.

Dooley says she will vote in January.  

Their message mimicked a billboard posted in Republican Forsyth County seeking to amplify the wedge dividing Republicans.  

The billboard says "Perdue / Loeffler didn't deliver for Trump. Don't deliver for them." So happens the political action committee behind it is a Democratic-leaning political group.

RELATED: State election official to Trump: 'Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence'

The Republican division could benefit Democrat Jon Ossoff – in the Senate runoff alongside fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock. Yet Ossoff somewhat echoed Duncan at a Forsyth County event Tuesday.

"It's sad to see that rather than presenting a vision to the people in the midst of a crisis, when people need help and people are dying (of COVID-19), that they’re trying to undermine the election results," Ossoff said.

A state senate committee is planning to hold a hearing on "election issues" Thursday at the State Capitol.

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