Here are seven GOP primary winners who questioned the 2020 election
A slew of Republican candidates who have questioned the legitimacy of the last presidential election, or objected to President Biden’s win, are winning their respective primaries across the country.
While not every Republican candidate who has questioned the last presidential election results or attempted to overturn it won their primary, a good number of them have.
An analysis from The Washington Post published last month looked at candidates for federal and statewide office who won their primaries through the end of May, finding that more than 100 alone have either directly questioned or denied results from the 2020 election.
Those primary winners come against the backdrop of hearings by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioting that have sought to portray how former President Trump and his allies pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence and state officials to overturn the 2020 election results.
For some of these candidates, their election could have major implications for the way elections are overseen in their states.
Here’s a look at seven primary winners who have either supported efforts to toss the 2020 elections or at least questioned the legitimacy of them.
Nevada Secretary of State candidate Jim Marchant
Nevada state Assemblyman Jim Marchant won his Republican primary last month for the state’s secretary of state race.
Marchant, who unsuccessfully ran for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District in 2020, alleged on his campaign website that he was a “victim of election fraud.”
Now running to be the top elections official in the state, he has said that, had he been secretary of state during the last presidential election, he would not have certified Biden’s victory in Nevada, CNN noted.
“Your vote hasn’t counted for decades,” Marchant alleged during a candidates forum in February, according to The Associated Press. “You haven’t elected anybody. The people that are in office have been selected. You haven’t had a choice.”
Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano in May came out on top of a crowded field of candidates in Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Following the 2020 election, he wrote an op-ed in which he pushed dubious claims about the 2020 election. In the wake of a Senate hearing held in November 2020, he wrote that “expert witnesses testified to statistical anomalies, such as quantities of ballots that counting machines could not physically process within a required timeframe. Another witness testified that an election worker was plugging flash drives into voting machines for no stated purpose.”
Baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election have also been promoted by his campaign.
Mastriano’s testimony has been sought by the House Jan. 6 committee, which subpoenaed him in February and wrote to him that they understood “that you have knowledge of and participated in a plan to arrange for an alternate slate of electors to be presented to the President of the Senate on January 6, 2021, and we understand that you spoke with former President Trump about your post-election activities.”
The Pennsylvania Republican is expected to come before the committee.
Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance
“Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance won the Republican Senate primary in Ohio in early May, in large part thanks to Trump.
Vance, who had once been critical of the former president, has backed Trump’s baseless allegations that the last presidential election was stolen or rigged, according to the AP.
“Yes or no though, simply, do you feel the election was stolen?” a reporter for Spectrum News asked Vance, in a clip posted in January.
“Yeah, I do,” he responded. “I mean, look, I think the fundamental problem is we had a massive effort to shift the election by very powerful people in this country and I don’t care what you — whether you say it’s rigged, whether you say it’s stolen, like I’ll say what I’m going to say about it.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton survived a Republican primary challenge in May after he was forced into a runoff against state Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Paxton had filed a lawsuit following the 2020 election alleging that voting procedures in four battleground states, all of which Biden had won, had been changed unconstitutionally amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He argued that the 2020 election results were being skewed as a result.
More than a dozen attorneys general filed amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit, though the lawsuit was later rejected by the Supreme Court.
The State Bar of Texas filed a lawsuit against Paxton in late May over his legal challenge, saying his “representations were dishonest.”
“His allegations were not supported by any charge, indictment, judicial finding, and/or credible or admissible evidence, and failed to disclose to the Court that some of his representations and allegations had already been adjudicated and/or dismissed in a court of law,” the lawsuit added.
Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt successfully clinched his Senate GOP primary in the state last month.
Laxalt, who assisted with the former president’s 2020 reelection campaign efforts in the Silver State, has offered dubious claims about the last presidential election.
“We know the Democrats changed our election,” Laxalt claimed during a campaign stop earlier this year, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
He told a conservative radio show host “there’s no question they rigged the election” during an interview in August after the host baselessly claimed Democrats had stolen the election from Trump in Nevada, NBC News reported.
The HuffPost noted that Laxalt has been a part of efforts to legally challenge President Biden’s win in the state.
North Carolina Senate candidate Ted Budd
Rep. Ted Budd, who won his Senate GOP primary in North Carolina, was among the more than 100 lawmakers who objected to certifying the 2020 election results, according to The New York Times.
He was among a number of lawmakers in November 2020 who signed a letter to former Attorney General William Barr that pressed the former top Justice Department official over “widespread reports of irregularities, particularly in the vote counting process” and asked him if he would “commit to using all the resources at your disposal to ensure that only legal votes are being counted and being counted in a fully transparent manner immediately.”
Budd has also previously flip-flopped over whether he believes Biden won the election, saying in one interview he believed Biden was the legitimate president.
He later reversed course in another interview, saying that Biden was the president but adding, “I have tremendous constitutional concerns about how the election of 2020 happened.”
Illinois Rep. Mary Miller
Rep. Mary Miller (R) won a key House seat in Illinois last month against fellow incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis (R) in a race that was portrayed in part as a Trump loyalty test.
Following the 2020 election, she was among a slew of lawmakers that signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging for allegations of election fraud to be investigated.
The letter claimed that the lawmakers had “verified reports” of mail-in and absentee ballots that had unverified or missing signatures, voting machine memory cards that were unaccounted for or missing and “restrictions on bipartisan election observers during critical phases of the election process.”
Miller was also among a number of lawmakers who objected to the certification of 2020 election results, according to Times.