All the Trump-backed candidates in key swing states who denied the 2020 election results, while vying to be their state’s top election official, lost their race — in a telling sign of Donald Trump’s waning influence.
Former President Trump zeroed in on some key Secretary of State races, where he believed an ally in the highly-regarded position — which serves as a state’s chief elections official — would help him win when he likely runs again in 2024.
However, the embattled ex-commander-in-chief’s strategy seemed to backfire.
Most notably, Republican Jim Marchant, the leader of a conservative group of Trump supporters who claim the 2020 election was stolen, lost his race to be Nevada’s Secretary of State Saturday.
Marchant is president of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, formed to support a slate of right-wing candidates in the 2022 secretary of state elections.
Marchant promised voters that if he was elected, Trump — who he has repeatedly said won in 2020 — would be president in 2024.
“When my coalition of secretary of state candidates around the country get elected, we’re going to fix the whole country, and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024,” Marchant confidently declared in October.
However, America First and Trump-backed candidates fizzled in their races.
Republican activist Kristina Karamo lost by 14 points to Democrat incumbent Jocelyn Benson in Michigan, Mark Finchem lost the hotly-contested Arizona race to Democrat Adrian Fontes, and Audrey Trujillo was beat out by her progressive counterpart and incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver in New Mexico.
Michigan GOP secretary of state candidate Karamo is a community college instructor who became a major voice in the Great Lake State for her election denial.
She repeatedly parroted the baseless claim that former President Trump won the 2020 election, and rallied with him.
Arizona’s Finchem, who was backed by Trump and attended the “Stop the Steal” rally that precipitated that Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, lost to Fontes by five and half points.
The candidate said he would not have certified Arizona’s election results in 2020 showing that President Biden had flipped the state blue.
Trujillo lost by almost 12 points in New Mexico and had supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
Truijillo once said on Steve Bannon’s podcast: “Somebody asked me, ‘How do you know Trump won New Mexico?’ and I’m like, ‘We didn’t see Biden signs anywhere.’”
While Republican Kim Crockett wasn’t an America First candidate, the Trump-backed attorney also lost her Secretary of State race in Minnesota.
Trump had said in October that Crockett would “get to the bottom” of the North Star State’s “rampant” — and unsubstantiated — voter fraud, but she lost to Democrat incumbent Steve Simon by nine points.
In the Nevada race, Democrat Cisco Aguilar prevailed over Marchant, winning 48.9% of the vote to Marchant’s 46.7%.
Some election deniers who ran for Secretary of State did win their races, but in states where Republicans already dominate.
Wyoming state lawmaker Chuck Gray handidly won his race — because he ran unopposed. In Indiana, Diego Morales, an election denier and former aide to Mike Pence, won by 14 points.
But it wasn’t just Secretary of State races where election deniers in swing states took hits.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who won Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial primary after scoring Trump’s endorsement, went on to lose the general election to the Keystone State’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro by almost more than 14 points.
Mastriano was a key figure in the effort to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 election result after President Biden carried the state.
“There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more, or fought harder, for Election Integrity than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump said in his endorsement. “He has revealed the Deceit, Corruption, and outright Theft of the 2020 Presidential Election, and will do something about it.”
Similarly, Trump’s hand-picked election-denying candidate for Wisconsin governor, Tim Michels, lost to Democrat incumbent Tony Evers.
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