Latest primaries feature Holocaust deniers for state electoral positions
PHOENIX (AP) — On Tuesday, Republican primary voters in Arizona and Kansas decide to elevate loyalists to former President Donald Trump who support his false claims that he lost the 2020 election and send them to the polls general.
The GOP primary election for secretary of state is the last this year to feature candidates who doubt their state’s election security despite a lack of evidence of widespread enough problems to alter the results. Republican voters elsewhere are split on sending those candidates to the November ballot.
A secretary of state in the Washington state primaries includes several Republican candidates and unaffiliated candidates, including one who has made allegations of voter fraud without evidence. Washington State has a primary system in which the first two voters go to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
Democratic candidates in all three states reject the premise of a stolen presidential election in 2020 and warn that victories in November by any of those promoting conspiracies would jeopardize free and fair elections. In all three states, the secretary of state is the most senior election official.
In Arizona, a major battleground for the president and the US Senate, two of the four GOP candidates argue the election was stolen from Trump and plan to force through major changes if they win the primary and general election of November.
Among them is State Representative Mark Finchem, who attended Trump’s January 6, 2021 rally that led to the attack on the US Capitol. He attempted this year to get the Republican-controlled Legislature to inform Congress that Arizona wanted to decertify Biden’s election victory.
The other Republican supporting Trump’s claims is also a member of the Arizona House. Representative Shawnna Bolick introduced a bill last year that would allow a simple majority of the Legislature to overturn the results of the presidential election. Republicans control the legislature in Arizona.
Two other Republican candidates are on the Arizona ballot: State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who recognizes President Joe Biden’s victory but has worked for a decade to tighten election laws, and the man of Beau Lane business, which is backed by GOP Governor Doug Ducey.
Finchem is endorsed by Trump and said in a recent interview that concerns about the effect of his potential victory on a free and fair election are unfounded. He said he would just apply the laws as they are written.
“I think it’s interesting that there are people, especially Democrats, who say, ‘Oh, he’s going to ruin the system. He’s going to, he’s a threat to democracy,'” Finchem said. Yet he argues that tens of thousands of fake ballots led to Biden’s victory, a claim for which there is no credible evidence.
Two Democrats, House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, are seeking their party’s nomination.
In Kansas, voters will choose between a GOP challenger who questions the 2020 presidential results and the Republican incumbent who thinks the election was secure in his state.
Secretary of State Scott Schwab has defended the use of ballot boxes, which Trump and other Republicans say are susceptible to misuse, even though Republican and Democratic secretaries of state across the country do not have reported no major issues with them. He dismissed baseless theories about fraud, at least in the Kansas election.
Schwab faces Mike Brown, a former county commissioner from suburban Kansas City who questioned the state’s election security at the heart of his campaign. He promised to ban ballot boxes and said he would use the secretary of state’s office to prosecute voter fraud cases, rather than taking Schwab’s approach of going through prosecutors.
Kansas Democrat Jenna Repass is unopposed in her party’s primary.
The two leading Washington state principals are incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. He was nominated by Governor Jay Inslee last November and hopes to retain his seat for the remaining two years of former Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s four-year term.
Hobbs faces several Republican and unaffiliated challengers, including Tamborine Borrelli, an “America First” candidate who was fined by the state Supreme Court earlier this summer for making baseless claims alleging fraud. widespread election.
Hobbs and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who comes off as non-partisan and said she is the most experienced in handling elections, raised the most money. Republicans in the race include former state senator Mark Miloscia and current senator Keith Wagoner.
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two voters qualify for the November general election, regardless of party. The results will likely take days to count, as this is an election by mail.
Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, and Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington, contributed to this report.