10 MAGA Secretary Of State Candidates Decisively Lose Elections

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At least 10 Republican candidates for Secretary of State have been defeated in this year’s midterm elections, helping establish a bulwark against potential meddling by Republicans with the outcome of a presidential race, among other possibly precarious outcomes.

In an eleventh state, Pennsylvania, voters don’t directly vote on the person serving in the equivalent position, who is instead appointed by the governor — but Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro won the race for governor over election-denying state Senator Doug Mastriano. Generally, the person serving as Secretary of State can exercise significant control over the handling of elections, although they don’t act alone. The other states where the Republican contenders for these positions lost include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Mexico.

In Arizona, state legislator Mark Finchem, who was on the ground in D.C. around last year’s Trump-incited attack on the Capitol, previously associated himself with the far-right militia group known as the Oath Keepers, and pushed the idea of somehow invalidating Arizona’s results from the 2020 presidential election, lost — per media calls issued days after the election — to Democratic candidate Adrian Fontes, who will be replacing outgoing Democrat Katie Hobbs. Hobbs may become the next governor of Arizona, but her race was uncalled as of early Saturday afternoon. A media call doesn’t represent an official end to the race. Rather, it’s a mathematical calculation about the direction a race is headed, and such calls — from reputable organizations like the Associated Press — are generally accepted as a standard. Media outlets infamously called the 2020 presidential race for Biden around the time Rudy Giuliani was standing outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia, pushing his baloney.

Another particularly notable race from the list was in Michigan, where Trump-backed Republican Kristina Karamo was hoping to replace Jocelyn Benson as Secretary of State. Karamo was involved with an eventually defeated lawsuit before the election in which plaintiffs originally hoped to force residents of Detroit to either vote in person or pick up their absentee ballot in person. Granting these requests could have threatened the validity of tens of thousands of absentee ballots already cast in Detroit, which is a Democratic-leaning area in what is known as a swing state. As of this Saturday, Karamo was behind Benson in available results by 14 percentage points. Predictably, she refused to concede — which isn’t legally required but, among other things, helps signify that a losing candidate will stop trying to upend the position of whoever won.

Seven of the defeated contenders for Secretary of State were identified by MSNBC as having questioned 2020 results. Others, like Dan Brady, who was the Republican selection in Illinois, didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic in their rejection of lies about the 2020 presidential race. “When asked about unsupported claims by ex-President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, Brady said he doesn’t know that to be the case but considers Democrat Joe Biden to be the duly elected president,” the Chicago Tribune reported. He was also supportive of using photo ID to vote — potentially adding a pointless hurdle for marginalized voters who might not have the required identification when the election arrives and could have difficulties in obtaining it. That sort of idea more directly supports GOP ambitions around elections, including in the wake of lies about what happened in 2020.