Top polls deny 2020 results in official race
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona lawmaker backed by former President Donald Trump who attended a January 6, 2021 rally that preceded the violent attack on the US Capitol and another lawmaker who also believes that 2020 Should the results of the presidential election be reversed, there are four. Republicans are vying for the top election office on the presidential battlefield.
It’s a trend seen in several Republican primaries this year that has led to mixed results for those promoting conspiracy theories and the lie that widespread fraud led to Trump’s defeat. Kansas and Washington state have similar candidates in Tuesday’s primary elections.
In Kansas, voters will choose between a challenger who will question the 2020 presidential results and incumbent Republicans who believe the election was safe in their state. There is also a candidate in Washington state’s open primary who supports Trump’s unsupported claims, although it is not the toughest challenge the Democratic current faces.
So far this year, Republican primary voters are divided on whether to put electoral skeptics on November’s ballot.
In June, Nevada voters chose former state legislator Jim Merchant, who is repeating false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, to face Democrats in an open race for secretary of state. But in Colorado, GOP voters dismissed a local elections clerk who was promoting conspiracies about voting machines with Trump allies and instead chose a Republican who vowed to keep politics out of elections. .
And Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger, who dismissed Trump’s plea to “find” enough votes to win the state, easily avoided the primary challenge of moving on to that state’s May primary.
Arizona’s secretary of state is the most fascinating and consequential of Tuesday’s primary battle because of Republican State Representative Mark Finchem.
The retired Michigan police officer and current Arizona House member was at the Capitol on January 6 and argues that Trump lost Arizona to large-scale fraud. He backed a controversial and much-anticipated state Senate “audit” of 2020 election results in the state’s most populous county, and this year attempted to get the Republican-controlled legislature to inform Congress that Arizona would vote for Joe Biden. Wanted to annul the election victory.
FinChem is also suing in federal court with a major GOP claimant for Arizona’s governor to block the use of vote-counting machines in Arizona. The lawsuit argues that they are potentially prone to hacking that could alter votes. A judge is considering whether to dismiss the case.
FinChem’s claims come despite a lack of valid evidence of any widespread fraud, which would have changed the outcome in Arizona, where Biden defeated Trump by just 10,000 votes. He says the “fictitious ballot” skewed the results.
“So for you to say there is no evidence, I think the media is deliberately disregarding the evidence,” Finchem said.
His primary competitors include another state House member, Shawna Bolik, a Trump supporter who contends the 2020 election was deeply flawed. She stated in a televised debate that she would not have certified the election if she had been Secretary of State, despite a court order requiring her to do so.
“And I would have been breaking the law at the time and that would have been fine,” she said on the debate on Arizona PBS.
The other two Republican candidates are State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who acknowledged Biden’s victory and made electoral reform a major focus during his 12 years in the Legislature, and Beau Lane, a businessman and political newcomer who supported Republicans. Government Doug Ducey has earned.
Uganti-Rita said that none of the other candidates has her understanding of election law and believes she enjoys widespread support across the state.
“They immediately recognize my record and experience, and they feel confident that I can get the job done and that’s the message,” Uganti-Rita said of voters. “That’s what people want. They’ve acted brashly – it doesn’t get the policy anywhere.”
Lane said her executive experience makes her the best choice for the job. He noted his long engagement in Republican politics, when as a youth he was a page at the 1980 Republican convention in which Ronald Reagan was nominated for president.
“Above all, we need someone who is a fair dealer and can help restore confidence in the elections,” he said.
Lane said that apart from a few hiccups and isolated cases of voter fraud, the 2020 election went well, though he joined other Republicans in criticizing Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running her party for governor. seeking nomination.
“Was there some organized, rigged fraud that changed the outcome of the election?” He asked. “I haven’t seen any evidence of that.”
Two Democrats are seeking their party’s nominations – former Maricopa County recorder Adrian Fontes, who lost his seat in the 2020 election, and Arizona House Minority Leader Reginald Boulding. Both are critical of Finchem and other Republicans who question the 2020 election results and say a Finchem victory would be dangerous to democracy.
In Kansas, Secretary of State Scott Schwab is also facing a challenge from his authority in the state’s GOP primary.
Schwab is a former Kansas House member who has defended the use of ballot drop boxes, which Trump and other Republicans say is at risk of being misused, even though there is no comprehensive evidence. He has dismissed unfounded theories about fraud, at least as a possibility in the Kansas elections.
“There were concerns that people had in other states, and some people want to put that concern in Kansas, but they’re just rumors — ‘I heard it in Georgia. I heard it in Arizona, I heard it in Nevada, so Kansas,'” Schwab said during a recent interview. “And you can’t copy and paste situations from state to state because our statutes are so different.”
Schwab’s primary rival is Mike Brown, a construction contractor and former county commissioner in Johnson County, which is home to the state’s most populous and Kansas City-area suburbs.
Brown has raised doubts about the security of the central Kansas election for his campaign. He promised to ban ballot drop boxes and said he would use the secretary of state’s office to pursue electoral fraud cases, rather than taking Schwab’s approach of working through prosecutors.
Brown said that when Schwab says the Kansas election went smoothly without significant problems, the question is, “Because they said it, or because they could prove it?”
“Their answer is, ‘There’s nothing to see here, keep going,'” he said. “You should start looking and you should stop moving.”
In Washington state’s “top two” primary features Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, who was appointed last November by Gov. Will retain his seat for years. He is the first Democrat to hold office since 1965, taking Wyman’s seat after leaving for the election security job in the Biden administration.
Hobbs faces several Republican and unaffiliated challengers, including “America First” candidate Tamborine Borrelli, who was last month charged by the state’s Supreme Court for making legally unqualified claims alleging widespread voter fraud. was fined for
Hobbs has fielded the most candidates for the race to date, followed by Pierce County auditor Julie Anderson, who is running as a nonpartisan and said she is the most experienced in running the election.
Among Republicans in the race, former Sen. Mark Milosia – he now heads the conservative Family Policy Institute – has raised the most money. Republican Sen. Keith Wagner lags behind Milosia on money, but is backed by former Republican Secretary of State Sam Reid.
Hobbs pointed to his experience as a lieutenant of the Washington National Guard and his months running the office to explain why he is best positioned to address issues ranging from cybersecurity concerns to election misinformation.
Anderson said she operates as a nonpartisan due to hyperpolarization across the country, saying that “we don’t need political parties to have balls and strikes at home plate in the Secretary of State’s office.”
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to a general election in November. It may take a few days for the results to be reconciled as this is a mail-to-mail poll.
Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, and Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington, contributed to this report.
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