GOP board member falsely claims she’s Black colleague after alleged hit-and-run

Debbie Rauers assumed the identity of her Black coworker after an alleged assault against a Latina woman.

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A Republican member of the Board Of Elections in Savannah, Georgia reportedly falsely claimed to be her Black coworker after allegedly committing a hit-and-run.

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According to the Savannah Business Journal, Debbie Rauers claimed to be Malinda Hodges, a fellow member of the Board of Elections, who is Black, after allegedly striking a young Latina woman with her car and leaving the scene. The reported victim, Christina Magaña said she was organizing a ‘Party at the Polls’ event with Black Lives Matter to drive voters to participate 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,” she 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’, and said, ‘the manager at the Civic Center, Joel, was aware of this’, and we have also notified CJ who is part of the voter protection line.”

Debbie Rauers www.theGrio.com
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Magaña continued to describe her version of the event where Rauers misrepresented her identity after asking the group to turn their music down.

“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.”

“When she hit me, I yelled at her, ‘You just hit me with your car!’ She heard me, she had her window rolled down, and she was saying stuff to Daniella. I yelled it very loud, but she just kept driving,” she continued, according to SBJ.

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In a follow-up report, Rauers shared her perspective with the Savannah Business Journal. She claims that she did not hit Magaña and the interaction between the two parties was cordial.

“She asked me to move my car, and I moved my car,” Rauers said. “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.”

She continued, “These young people are creating problems that don’t exist. I was cordial. They had a band, and a food truck, and I asked her if she had permits. It wasn’t designated for her (the parking spot). It was not blocked off. I accommodated her, and said ‘Yes, I’ll move my car.’ And then she tells me, ‘You can back up,’ and then, so then she puts her cell phone in my face, and I said, ‘Please don’t do that,’ and then I moved my car around [the] corner.”

According to the outlet, Rauers abruptly ended the phone interview by hanging up after stating “What is happening to our country? Oh my God, Oh my God.”

After leaving the area, Rauers was contacted by another official, Lou Phelps, to discuss what she observed at the event. Phelps was unaware of any alleged altercation and was conducting normal protocol as it is not unusual for Rauers to survey polling locations, according to the report.

“I’m not down at the Board of Elections. I decided not to go down … 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,” Rauers allegedly said in her conversation with Phelps.

If faced with charges and found guilty, Rauers can also be removed from her position on the Board of Elections, according to SBJ.

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