Donald Trump's dream of filling key election posts across the country with a roster of anti-democratic election deniers continues to move in the direction of potentially becoming a reality in November. Up and down the ballot, far-right candidates who would gladly help overturn a "bad" outcome and steal an election are winning Republican primaries and stand just one election away from seizing power.
A New York Times analysis of four competitive states—Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Texas—finds that 157 state legislators who worked to overturn the 2020 election had won their Republican primaries.
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The top of the ticket is no exception in those states, where pro-Trump election deniers hope to get their hands on the levers of power in November:
- Nevada: Jim Marchant, GOP nominee for secretary of state, a fake elector for Trump and chief organizer of a group of right-wing election deniers seeking to take control of election posts across the country
- Pennsylvania: Doug Mastriano, GOP gubernatorial nominee, repeatedly worked to decertify the 2020 results
- Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton, sued to overturn the 2020 election
In Michigan, which hasn't held its primaries yet, two 2020 conspiracy theorists have nearly locked up nominations for top posts by securing the most delegates at the state's Republican Party convention in April.
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Kristina Karamo, the likely GOP nominee for secretary of state, has based her entire candidacy on baseless claims of a "stolen" election; and Matthew DePerno, likely GOP nominee for attorney general, elevated his profile by filing several lawsuits on claims of 2020 voting irregularities—all of which were thrown out of court.
Another slate of right-wing election deniers will be gunning to oversee key election posts in GOP primaries in Colorado later this month and in Arizona and Wisconsin in early August.
“We are in a dangerous place at the moment,” Ben Berwick, counsel for the nonpartisan group Protect Democracy, told the Times. “There is a substantial faction in this country that has come to the point where they have rejected the premise that when we have elections, the losers of the elections acknowledge the right of the winner to govern.”