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What happened to Brad Raffensperger’s son Brenton? Jan 6 hearings continue

Bruno Cooke June 22, 2022
brad raffensperger son brenton
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

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Brad Jay Raffensperger, Republican Party member and Georgia secretary of state, testified yesterday before the select committee investigating the events of 6 January 2021, during which he mentioned his son Brenton.

He said, among other things, that people – who he alleged were Trump supporters – “broke into” his daughter-in-law’s home – the wife of his late son.

Brad Raffensperger’s son Brenton died in 2018. His death was one of the “personal tragedies” that plagued Raffensperger in the lead up to the “difficult election season” that year.

What do we know about Brad Raffensperger’s son Brenton and what did his father say about him during his testimony?

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What happened to Brenton Raffensperger?

Brad Raffensperger spoke to CNN’s Amara Walker in an interview in late 2020, weeks before the events of 6 January 2021.

They spoke, among other things, about the death of his son Brenton and how overcoming it helped Brad “weather the difficult election season”.

Brad Raffensperger’s son Brenton struggled with addiction and a cancer diagnosis, and ultimately died of a Fentanyl overdose in 2018.

“Obviously we have been prepared,” Brad said during the interview, referring to himself and wife Tricia. “I think the challenges you go through in life, you know, they can make you bitter, they can make you better.”

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How old was Brenton Raffensperger when he died?

In January 2015, Fox News reported a Georgia judge had sentenced Brad Raffensperger’s son to six and a half years “with an unusual roommate” – a coffin.

“I want you to go to a funeral home and buy a casket, put it in your home and see it every day as a reminder of the deadly consequences of your choices,” Rockdale County chief superior court judge Sidney Nation told Brenton Raffensperger, then aged 24. 

“I want you to be reminded every day that, if you don’t change your ways, you are a dead man.”

Brenton had been found guilty of cocaine possession and driving under the influence. Because he completed a rehab program, his sentence was effectively reduced to six months, Fox reports. His father Brad described the judge’s decision as stemming from “incredible wisdom”.

Given Brenton Raffensperger was 24 at the time and he died of a Fentanyl overdose two and a half years later, he was likely 26 or 27 at the time of his passing.

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Secretary of state issued ‘stern warning’ to anyone trying to falsely register voters

In December 2020, Atlanta radio station WABE reported Brad Raffensperger had “renewed warnings” to anyone “attempting to register voters for the Jan 5 run-off elections”.

He illustrated his point by displaying three postcards sent to his late son.

“It’s to my son, Brenton J Raffensperger,” Brad said, “who passed away almost two and a half years ago. He’s not on our voter files here in Georgia. We checked.”

“What they say,” he continued, referring to groups attempting to registers voters who had died or moved away, “can’t be supported by the facts on the ground. We have proof in our own home.”

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What did Brad Raffensperger say about son Brenton during his testimony?

Raffensperger testified before the select committee investigating the events of 6 January 2021 yesterday. He told them “some people” had broken “into my daughter-in-law’s home”.

“My son has passed and she’s a widow and has two kids. So we’re very concerned about her safety also.”

He also claimed he and his wife Tricia suffered harassment in the weeks following.

Brad and Tricia Raffensperger have three children including Brenton – all sons. They have lived in Johns Creek, Georgia, since 1998, according to Patch, and married more than 45 years ago.

Brad Raffensperger’s professional background is in engineering and manufacturing, while is a member of the North Point Community Church. 

If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.