2020 Deniers Wanting to Run Elections Hit a Snag

Nevada Republican who led slate of candidates in other states loses his own race
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2022 5:15 PM CST
Voters Reject 2020 Deniers Running to Manage Elections
Cisco Aguilar, newly elected secretary of state in Nevada, greets a supporter Saturday in Henderson.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Jim Marchant told supporters that if he were elected secretary of state for Nevada, Donald Trump would be president again. To make sure the 2024 vote elsewhere goes the same way, Marchant put together a slate of candidates for the top election office in battleground states, the New York Times reports "When my coalition of secretary of state candidates around the country get elected," he told a Trump rally in October, "we're going to fix the whole country, and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024." His plan fell apart when Nevada's final count Saturday showed Marchant had lost his race to Democrat Cisco Aguilar. The rest of his "America First" coalition didn't do much better.

Republican nominee Diego Morales was elected in Indiana, but Marchant's ticket of election deniers lost in Michigan, Arizona, and New Mexico—as well as Nevada. That derails plans for the next presidential election; Marchant wanted "alternate electors" selected in the 2020 election to deny President Biden his victory and had said since that he might do it in future votes, per NBC News. In the 2020 election aftermath, secretaries of state led the resistance to the push by Trump and his allies to overturn the results. Then in early 2021, several candidacies were launched by Republicans who maintained the election had been stolen.

The slate did not have the backing of the national Republican Party, per the Times. But as the races for the often low-profile office took off, Democratic Association of Secretaries of State expanded its operation and raised money. "We really believe, and continue to believe, that these races have a tremendous effect on whether this country will continue to have a vibrant democracy," said Jena Griswold, Colorado's secretary of state and chair of the organization. The pressure bore on the candidates. "Look, it was scary," Aguilar said. "And the burden that I carried throughout the campaign knowing that was pretty extensive." (Read more midterm elections stories.)

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