No less than 11 Republican nominees for state elections chief have disputed the legitimacy of the 2020 election

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The Republican nominees for secretary of state within the November 2022 midterm elections embody three swing-state candidates who’ve made efforts to overturn 2020 ends in their states: Mark Finchem of Arizona, Kristina Karamo of Michigan and Jim Marchant of Nevada.

The Republican nominee in Republican-dominated Alabama, Wes Allen, expressed help for a 2020 lawsuit that sought to get the Supreme Court docket to toss out Joe Biden’s victory. The Republican nominee in Republican-dominated Indiana, Diego Morales, has referred to as the 2020 election a “rip-off,” the vote “tainted” and the end result “questionable.” The Republican nominee in Republican-dominated Wyoming, Chuck Grey, has stated that Biden’s victory was “illegitimate” and that he “completely” thinks Trump was the actual winner.

The Republican nominee in Democratic-leaning however usually aggressive Minnesota, Kim Crockett, has described the 2020 election in her state as “lawless.” The Republican nominee within the Democratic-dominated Connecticut, Dominic Rapini, is the previous chair of a bunch that has made baseless complaints of 2020 fraud.

The Republican nominee in Democratic-leaning however generally aggressive New Mexico, Audrey Trujillo, has referred to as the 2020 election stolen. So have the Republican candidates in Massachusetts and Vermont, each obscure figures who face lengthy odds of successful their liberal states in November.

There are some vital variations within the depth with which these 11 nominees have dedicated to election rejection. For instance, Morales acknowledged in June that Biden “legitimately occupies” the presidency, whereas Finchem, a serial promoter of untamed conspiracy theories concerning the election, has continued this 12 months in his inconceivable quest to reverse Biden’s victory in Arizona.

Twenty-seven states are holding secretary of state elections in 2022. CNN will replace this record if we discover data exhibiting that the 2020 outcomes have been disputed by extra Republican nominees. (The little-known South Dakota candidate who gained the Republican nomination at a June conference, Monae Johnson, has broadly questioned the validity of US election results however we couldn’t instantly discover public feedback she has made concerning the validity of the 2020 ends in specific.)

Alabama: Wes Allen

Rep. Wes Allen speaks during debate on transgender bills during the legislative session in the house chamber at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 7, 2022.
State consultant Wes Allen, who gained Alabama’s Republican nomination in a June runoff election, endorsed the Texas-led authorized effort to get the Supreme Court docket to overturn Biden’s victories in 4 states — tweeting in December 2020 that Alabama’s legal professional basic ought to “stand agency” in help.
Allen has vowed to withdraw Alabama from a 31-state consortium that helps member states preserve their voter rolls updated, baselessly alleging that the consortium, which is funded and run by member states, is a “leftist” entity. Alabama’s departing Republican incumbent secretary of state, John Merrill, has called Allen’s claims “patently false” and defended the consortium as an vital election safety software.
The Democratic nominee is Pamela Laffitte, a corrections sergeant for a county sheriff’s workplace.

Allen’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Arizona: Mark Finchem

Arizona state representative Mark Finchem (R-AZ) speaks at a rally in Iowa State Fairgrounds, in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., October 9, 2021.
Mark Finchem is a far-right Arizona state consultant who has for years promoted absurd conspiracy theories and different misinformation. Finchem has been aggressively dishonest concerning the 2020 election — and he continues to push to “decertify” Biden’s 2020 win in Arizona, although this cannot be done.
Finchem has repeatedly and falsely claimed that “Trump gained” the election. He has falsely proclaimed that “the election was a fraud” and that it was “rigged.” He demanded in mid-2021 that liberal officers and the media show the falsity of election conspiracy theories that had already been confirmed false, even selling shirts studying “#ProveIt.”
Finchem, who was endorsed by Trump last year and won the Republican primary earlier this month, performed a key early role within the election-denying “Cease the Steal” motion in Arizona. After he attended the “Cease the Steal” rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, he was photographed outdoors the US Capitol in the course of the rebel that day. He additionally tweeted a sympathetic message concerning the rioters, blaming Congress for refusing to acknowledge the “rampant fraud” that, once more, did not exist. (Finchem denies any involvement in the riot and has not been charged with something.)
On the primary anniversary of the rebel, Finchem tweeted a false declare that “the actual rebel” was how Democratic officers in Arizona had rigged the election with “tens of 1000’s of fraudulent votes” in two huge counties gained by Biden. That is simply fiction.
In July, Finchem baselessly called for the arrest of incumbent Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who’s now the Democratic nominee for governor, and Adrian Fontes, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state who oversaw the 2020 election in Maricopa County, the place many Republicans have baselessly alleged mass fraud.

Finchem’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Connecticut: Dominic Rapini

Dominic Rapini is a candidate for secretary of state for Connecticut.
Dominic Rapini, who won Connecticut’s Republican primary on Tuesday, formerly served as board chair for a bunch referred to as Struggle Voter Fraud, Inc., which has had its baseless allegations about the 2020 election proven inaccurate by Connecticut’s elections enforcement fee. The Connecticut Put up reported that the fee admonished Struggle Voter Fraud in 2021; the fee stated the group had wasted the fee’s restricted assets and will “educate themselves” on the info and the legislation earlier than submitting complaints.
Whereas chairing Struggle Voter Fraud, Rapini a minimum of not directly promoted false claims that there was huge fraud within the 2020 election. He was listed because the creator of a web post linking to a document that beneficial numerous studies that falsely alleged the election had been stolen, falsely claimed that statistics forged doubt on Biden’s win, or falsely steered one thing was amiss in 2020 with voting machines. (Rapini has said he left his position at Struggle Voter Fraud, Inc. in August 2021.)
Rapini, who says he has spent greater than twenty years in gross sales at Apple, stated in an look on Hartford station FOX61 in July that “Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the USA.” However in numerous different interviews over the previous 12 months, he refused to offer a direct answer when requested if he believed Biden’s victory was respectable or whether or not Trump was the actual winner. Dodging the query, he told The Connecticut Examiner in 2021: “I have never been researching what’s occurred in Arizona and Wisconsin, I have never studied it. I’ll say that Joe Biden was licensed in January and we’ve to maneuver on.”
He told CT Insider this May: “Hear, Joe Biden, God bless him, was the duly elected president of the USA and past that, there’s so many particulars there I can not actually dive into them, I do not know the particulars … I believe there was undoubtedly anomalies, and there is issues we have to perceive, however I’ve no cause to imagine there was widescale fraud in Connecticut, there’s nothing there that I can show.”

Requested for remark, Rapini stated in an electronic mail: “I’ve acknowledged on many events throughout my marketing campaign that Joe Biden is the duly elected President of the USA.” CNN then despatched him three examples of how he had generally prevented questions concerning the legitimacy of Biden’s victory and requested him to immediately reply that query; we defined we had been unclear if he was making some distinction between “duly” and “legitimately” elected. Rapini responded not directly as soon as extra — saying he has been “very clear” in TV interviews that “Joe Biden is the duly elected president” and that reporters with “predisposed assumptions” generally pass over components of his feedback.

The Democratic nominee is state Rep. Stephanie Thomas.

Indiana: Diego Morales

Diego Morales, the GOP pick for Indiana's Secretary of State, does a press conference at the state GOP Convention, Indiana Farmer's Coliseum, Indianapolis, Saturday, June 18, 2022.
In March, when Diego Morales was operating for the Republican nomination in Indiana, he revealed an article on the website Hoosier State Today through which he sharply disputed the legitimacy of the 2020 election — proclaiming that “we’ve legitimate causes to doubt the official vote tallies in key states,” that the vote was “tainted,” that “the end result is questionable,” and that the election was a “rip-off.”

Morales, who served as an aide to Mike Pence when Pence was governor of Indiana, went on to argue that late modifications to states’ election insurance policies had been illegitimate and — vaguely — that it was unconstitutional to topic mail-in voters and the Election Day voters to totally different ranges of “scrutiny.”

A few of Morales’ particular claims are subjective. Nonetheless, his broad preliminary declare that there are legitimate causes to doubt key states’ vote totals is apparent false.

Morales has generally taken a softer line. After beating Republican incumbent Secretary of State Holli Sullivan for the party nomination at a celebration conference in June, he told Fox59 of Indianapolis that he had “already moved on” from 2020 to concentrate on future elections. Morales told journalist Brian Howey in June that Biden was elected in 2020 and “legitimately occupies that workplace at this time,” although he additionally maintained that “there have been numerous irregularities in that election.”

Morales marketing campaign supervisor Kegan Prentice touted Morales’ biography in an announcement to CNN and stated, “His sole focus now’s on visiting all 92 counties in Indiana to take heed to and study from voters so he can greatest serve them.”

Morales was terminated from a job within the Indiana secretary of state’s workplace in 2009 for allegedly poor work efficiency, the Indianapolis Star reported in June. Morales confronted extra criticism of his work efficiency after returning to the workplace below a special secretary of state, the Star reported, and resigned in 2011 after refusing to signal on to an enchancment plan.

The Star reported that Morales stated: “Anyone are you able to write you up at any time, as a result of their envy, egocentric workplace rivalry, no matter you could wish to name it. That is precisely what occurred.” Morales’ marketing campaign supervisor additionally offered CNN with constructive feedback about him from Republican Indiana Legal professional Normal Todd Rokita, who was secretary of state in 2009. Rokita wrote, “So far as I am involved, Diego left my workplace on good phrases, and I contemplate him a very long time good friend.”

The Democratic nominee is Future Wells, an officer within the Military Reserve and a lawyer who was previously a deputy state attorney general.

Massachusetts: Rayla Campbell

Rayla Campbell, candidate for secretary of state in Massachusetts.
Rayla Campbell, a radio host who’s operating unopposed within the Republican major in Massachusetts, falsely declared in November 2020 — after media retailers had referred to as the election for Biden — that Trump was the precise winner.
“Our nice president is the President elected for the following 4 years. We all know it. They’re attempting to steal an election as a result of they can not win or do something proper,” Campbell said on a November 2020 radio present throughout which she additionally promoted so-called “cease the steal” occasions.
On one other November 2020 radio present, Campbell endorsed false conspiracy theories about election software program and wrongly declared that “there is not any manner, with all the Trump rallies and the help that we had on the market, that our candidates did not get extra votes.” She additionally referred to as for Republicans to undertake “soiled” ways to fight the dishonest she inaccurately claimed Democrats had done.
“They did it once more with the dishonest of the counting of the ballots,” she said. “And they’ll at all times do stuff like that as a result of they can not win legally, and that is why we have to combat so much tougher. Rather a lot tougher, and slightly soiled. As a result of they combat extraordinarily soiled. It is time to beat ’em at their very own recreation, and we are able to do this.”
In December 2020, after the Electoral College affirmed Biden’s victory, Campbell continued to support Trump’s efforts to overturn the end result. And she or he repeated her false declare a couple of “stolen” election in a combative speech on the state Republican conference in Might 2022.

In an interview with CNN in late July, Campbell didn’t again down from any of her earlier claims. She referred to as for audits of the 2020 election in all 50 states, and he or she repeatedly criticized the information media for supposed bias. She added, although, that she has “moved on from 2020 elections as a result of we’re going into 2022.”

Democratic incumbent William Galvin and Democrat Tanisha Sullivan, a lawyer who’s president of the Boston department of the NAACP, are also running.

Michigan: Kristina Karamo

Kristina Karamo, who is running for the Michigan Republican party's nomination for secretary of state, speaks at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump on April 02, 2022 near Washington, Michigan.
Kristina Karamo, who was endorsed by Trump last year and Michigan’s Republican Party at its convention this year, falsely claimed in a social media video in December 2020 “Donald Trump gained Michigan” — the place Joe Biden actually beat Trump by more than 154,000 votes.
Karamo, who has taught orientation and public talking programs at a neighborhood faculty, rose to prominence within the aftermath of the 2020 election, when she claimed to have witnessed fraud whereas working as a Republican ballot challenger monitoring the processing of absentee ballots in Detroit. (The Detroit Free Press found that her claims had been primarily based on misinterpretations of normal election processes; a Republican-led state Senate investigation into Michigan’s election discovered “no proof of widespread or systematic fraud.”) She subsequently filed an affidavit as a part of a lawsuit that tried to get the Supreme Court docket to discard Biden’s victories in Michigan and three different states.
Karamo additionally promoted false claims about Dominion elections know-how even after these claims had been totally debunked, baselessly declaring in December 2020 that there have been “over 200,000 votes” in Michigan that had been “probably compromised” by Dominion software program. After successful the backing of the state celebration this April, Karamo stated she was not going to say “whether or not or not I believe the election was stolen,” Sinclair Broadcast Group reported, however she went on to complain of “so many unlawful issues that occurred.”
Karamo needs to be chosen as soon as extra at a Republican conference later in August to develop into the official celebration nominee, however that’s extensively expected to occur after her dominant performance at the April endorsement convention. The Democratic candidate is incumbent Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Karamo’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Minnesota: Kim Crockett

Kim Crockett speaks during the first day of the Minnesota State Republican Convention, May 13, 2022, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn.
Kim Crockett has said of the 2020 election in Minnesota: “I do not suppose the phrase ‘lawless’ is just too sturdy.” When an interviewer advised her that he believes Minnesota’s election was “illegitimate,” she said she agreed.
Crockett, a lawyer who gained Minnesota’s Republican major on Tuesday, has been particularly focused on state Democrats’ modifications to election guidelines amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. However she has additionally promoted a right-wing movie that makes doubtful claims about supposed 2020 dishonest. She baselessly called absentee voting “frankly insecure.” And she or he questioned whether or not mail staff — who carry hundreds of thousands of ballots each federal election with only a few issues — may be trusted to hold ballots on condition that “the postal union is a partisan participant” in politics.
“Makes you sort of go: ‘Huh.’ After 2020, you begin taking a look at all the things,” Crockett said in a June interview.
At a state Republican conference in Might, Crockett’s marketing campaign played a video that depicted liberal billionaire George Soros, who’s Jewish, as a puppetmaster pulling the strings of incumbent Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and outstanding Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias, who’re additionally Jewish. The chairman of the state celebration issued an apology — but additionally claimed Crockett had been unaware the video included antisemitic tropes.
Crockett has previously worked or volunteered for conservative organizations, together with a voter group that has described the 2020 election as “rigged” and a suppose tank that suspended her in 2019 for feedback about Somali immigrants for which she quickly apologized. (Nonetheless, she said this year that she was “taken out of context” by The New York Occasions and “would say all the things at this time that I stated in 2019.”)

In late July, CNN despatched the Crockett marketing campaign an electronic mail providing an opportunity to remark for this text. The e-mail outlined lots of the info the article deliberate to say and defined that Crockett could be included on a listing of nominees who had denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

In response, Crockett referred to as and left a message saying she discovered the request “lower than open to truly discovering out extra about me or my marketing campaign” and that we must always look into “who I actually am versus who different folks have stated I’m.” She additionally stated, nevertheless, that she solely had time to ship alongside written feedback she had beforehand offered to a different journalist.

In these earlier feedback, Crockett outlined her criticism of Simon’s coverage selections, beneficial a right-wing commentator’s book about how the 2020 election was “rigged” and wrote: “The company media narrative is that 2020 was essentially the most safe election within the historical past of voting. That is propaganda designed to cease the dialog. And so they viciously assault anybody who dares to query that conclusion, calling us names like ‘election deniers’ as a substitute of partaking us on election coverage.”

Nevada: Jim Marchant

Jim Marchant, center, the GOP nominee for secretary of state in Nevada, speaks with people at a political event July 16, 2022, in Pahrump, Nev.
Jim Marchant, a businessman and former Nevada state assemblyman, has promoted baseless conspiracy theories about not solely the 2020 election however quite a few previous elections. Marchant has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Nevadans have not truly elected “anyone” for years — both “for decades” or notably since 2006, when Republican future senator Dean Heller was serving as secretary of state.
“And in Nevada and possibly different locations all around the nation — we have not in Nevada elected anyone since 2006. They’ve been put in by the deep state cabal,” Marchant falsely stated in podcast feedback that had been reported in January by liberal group Media Issues for America.
Marchant has stated he wouldn’t have licensed Biden’s 33,596-vote victory in Nevada if he had been secretary of state in 2020, falsely claiming to NBC Information that it’s “nearly statistically inconceivable that Joe Biden gained.” Marchant attended the December 2020 event the place different Nevada Republicans signed on to be phony Trump electors. And Marchant told The Guardian early this 12 months that it was “very potential” he could be ready to submit alternate electors in 2024.
Marchant unsuccessfully tried to get a courtroom to order a re-vote of his unsuccessful 2020 congressional race, which he lost by more than 16,000 votes. He has been so constant in questioning Nevada’s elections system, which his marketing campaign has wrongly described as “fraudulent,” that he even raised doubts about his personal victory within the Republican secretary of state major this June — telling the Las Vegas Evaluate-Journal that he was “probably not assured within the outcome” and that there “may have been anomalies.”
Marchant’s Democratic opponent is Cisco Aguilar, a lawyer who was previously a staffer for late US Senator Harry Reid. They’re vying to exchange term-limited Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske.

Marchant’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

New Mexico: Audrey Trujillo

Audrey Trujillo, candidate for secretary of state in New Mexico.
Audrey Trujillo, a conservative activist whose marketing campaign biography says she has operated a daycare, falsely claimed in a Facebook interview in March that the 2020 election was “an enormous, big, I might say coup, to essentially unseat a president.” On her personal Fb web page, she falsely wrote in June that “Trump’s election was stolen.”

Trujillo, who ran unopposed in New Mexico’s Republican major, falsely claimed within the March interview that votes had been fraudulently switched from Republicans to Democrats in 2020 races at “all ranges,” together with a New Mexico US Senate race that was, in actuality, gained handily and pretty by a Democrat. She additionally falsely claimed within the interview that the US is “no higher than every other communist nation like Venezuela or any of those different states the place our elections are being manipulated.”

When CNN requested Trujillo’s marketing campaign in late July for touch upon these claims, it responded by asking the place we had gotten them from. After we offered hyperlinks to the claims, the marketing campaign didn’t reply once more.

Trujillo’s Democratic opponent is incumbent Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Vermont: H. Brooke Paige

H. Brooke Paige stands in front of the Vermont Statehouse on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Montpelier, Vt.
H. Brooke Paige, a conservative activist in Vermont, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination for secretary of state whereas additionally running unopposed for the celebration nominations for state legal professional basic, auditor and treasurer. He plans to show down the latter three nominations and concentrate on his secretary of state marketing campaign, the Vermont web site VTDigger reported.
The day after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in 2021, Paige falsely claimed on his Fb web page that the left “stole” the election by a “subversive plan” involving “stuffing the poll field and corrupting the tabulation of the election outcomes.” He made different false election claims in subsequent posts.

In an interview with CNN in August, Paige acknowledged that Biden was the actual winner in Vermont in 2020, however stated the query of whether or not Biden legitimately gained the presidency is “such a fancy query,” hinging on how somebody defines “legitimately,” that he couldn’t provide a direct reply.

Paige criticized state-level modifications to voting guidelines in 2020, stated he was disheartened by “anecdotal proof” of suspicious conduct in the course of the vote depend — there isn’t a indication of wrongdoing by any state’s vote-counters — and stated his “largest concern” was pro-Democratic media bias, which he argued had been a serious contributor to Biden’s victory.

Democratic incumbent Jim Condos is retiring. The Democratic nominee is state Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas.

Wyoming: Chuck Grey

Wyoming state representative Chuck Gray in Augugust 2021. (Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY)
In 2021, Wyoming state Rep. Chuck Grey falsely referred to as Biden’s election “illegitimate,” falsely described the 2020 election as “the fraudulent election,” and advised CNN that he “absolutely” believed that Trump gained.
In December 2020, Grey urged Wyoming leaders to affix the Texas-led lawsuit searching for to overturn Biden’s victories in 4 states. When Republican Gov. Mark Gordon decided against doing so, Grey wrote on Fb that Gordon was “completely mistaken.”
Grey gained the Republican nomination for secretary of state in August 2022. In June and July, he wrote on Fb that he had sponsored screenings of the right-wing movie, additionally promoted by Crockett, that makes doubtful claims about dishonest within the 2020 election; Grey told Wyoming web site Cowboy State Every day in June, baselessly, that the movie demonstrates how the left “has stolen elections with poll drop packing containers.”

Grey didn’t reply to a request for remark in August.

This story has been up to date so as to add Wyoming nominee Chuck Grey to the record and to incorporate remark from Vermont nominee H. Brooke Paige.

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