Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

This movement was rejected: Republican election deniers lose key state races

This movement was rejected: Republican election deniers lose key state races

This movement was rejected: Republican election deniers lose key state races

Republicans who rejected and sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results lost nearly every statewide race in which they sought to take control over how elections are run, a result hailed as a significant victory for free and fair elections in the US.

Voters rejected election deniers who sought to become the top election official in Arizona, Nevada and Michigan - all key battleground states - as well as Minnesota and New Mexico. In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, a state senator who has been among the most prominent spreaders of election misinformation, lost his bid to be the state's top election official. Kari Lake, a Republican who built her campaign around election denialism, also is projected to lose her bid for governor in Arizona.

"We see the voters clearly saying trying to delegitimize democracy is not a winning strategy," said Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who defeated Kristina Karamo, a Republican who spread baseless misinformation about the 2020 election results, to win a second term last week. "But we still have a presidential election now under two years away in which we anticipate a lot of the same challenges."

In Michigan, Democrats defeated election deniers in the governor and attorney general's race as well, beating back what many feared could be an election denialism trifecta in a key battleground state.

In 94 statewide races this fall, just five non-incumbent election deniers won their elections as of Monday afternoon, according to States United Action, a group that has been tracking election deniers running. Those candidates won in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas and Wyoming.

Several of the candidates who lost were members of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which is led by Jim Marchant, a former Nevada lawmaker who lost his bid on Tuesday to be secretary of state. Just one member of the coalition, Diego Morales, won his bid to be secretary of state in Indiana, which is solidly Republican.

"The voters have spoken. And they spoke to something that is much deeper than the passing fad of the big lie or any other election denialism that a variety of politicians have sort of cooked up for their own, or what they perceive to be their own benefit," said Adrian Fontes, a Democrat who is projected to beat Republican Mark Finchem, who tried to overturn the 2020 election, in Arizona's secretary of state race.

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