Top Election Official Races Feature Deniers Of 2020 Results

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Politics

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona lawmaker endorsed by former President Donald Trump who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol and another lawmaker who also believes the 2020 presidential election results should be overturned are among four Republicans vying for the top elections post in the presidential battleground.It’s a trend seen in several Republican primaries this year that has led to mixed results for those who peddle conspiracy theories and promote the falsehood that widespread fraud led to Trump’s defeat. Tuesday’s primary elections feature similar candidates in Kansas and Washington state.AdvertisementIn Kansas, voters will choose between a challenger who questions the 2020 presidential results and the incumbent Republican who believes the election was secure in his state. Washington state’s open primary also has a candidate who backs Trump’s unsupported claims, although that’s not the toughest challenge the Democratic incumbent faces.So far this year, Republican primary voters have split on whether to put election skeptics on the November ballot.In June, Nevada voters selected former state lawmaker Jim Marchant, who has been repeating the false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, to face the Democrat in an open race for secretary of state. But in Colorado, GOP voters rejected a local election clerk who has been appearing with Trump allies promoting conspiracies about voting machines and instead chose a Republican who vowed to keep politics out of elections.And Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who rejected Trump’s plea to “find” enough votes for him to win the state, easily survived a primary challenge to advance in that state’s May primary.Advertisement Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, waves to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a Save America rally Friday, July 22, 2022, in Prescott, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Ross D. Franklin via APArizona’s secretary of state race is the most eye-catching and consequential of Tuesday’s primary battles, in part because of Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem.The retired Michigan police officer and current Arizona House member was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and contends Trump lost Arizona because of rampant fraud. He backed a controversial and much-criticized state Senate “audit” of the 2020 election results in the state’s most populous county and this year tried to get the Republican-controlled Legislature to notify Congress that Arizona wanted to decertify Joe Biden’s election win.Finchem also is suing in federal court with a leading GOP contender for Arizona governor to block the use of vote-counting machines in Arizona. The lawsuit contends they are potentially prone to hacking that can change votes. A judge is considering whether to throw out the case.Finchem’s claims come despite the lack of valid evidence of any widespread fraud that would have changed the result in Arizona, where Biden beat Trump by just over 10,000 votes. He maintains that “fictitious ballots” marred the results.Advertisement“So for you to say that there’s no evidence, I think the media is willfully disregarding the evidence that’s out there,” Finchem said.His primary competitors include another state House member, Shawnna Bolick, a Trump supporter who contends the 2020 election was deeply flawed. She said in a televised debate that she would not have certified the election had she been secretary of state, despite it being a requirement to do so absent a court order.“And I would have been breaking the law at that point and that would have been fine,” she said on the debate carried on Arizona PBS. In this Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 file photograph, Shawnna Bolick, a Republican running for Secretary of State for Arizona, speaks at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)Ross D. Franklin via APThe other two Republican candidates are state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who acknowledges Biden’s victory and has made election reform a key focus during her 12 years in the Legislature, and Beau Lane, a businessman and …

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