Election-denying secretary of state candidates see defeats in 2022 midterms

Highly watched contests in Arizona and Nevada are too close to call.

November 9, 2022, 6:10 PM

Some Republican candidates who rejected the results of the 2020 race failed in their bids for secretary of state in key midterm races across the country, according to unofficial results from the respective state election offices.

Several contests in Tuesday's midterms, including in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada, gained national attention as the victor could affect how elections are conducted and results are announced for the 2024 presidential run.

PHOTO: Election workers handle ballots for the US midterm election, in the presence of observers from both Democrat and Republican parties, at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center (MCTEC) in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 9, 2022.
Election workers handle ballots for the US midterm election, in the presence of observers from both Democrat and Republican parties, at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center (MCTEC) in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 9, 2022.
Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

Democracy experts had said they worried that election-denying secretaries of state candidates, if they won, could refuse to certify the results of future elections by arguing they were fraudulent. Former President Donald Trump has spoken about some of the races and backed candidates who pushed his lie that he won the 2020 contest against Joe Biden.

PHOTO: In this Oct. 1, 2022, file photo, Kristina Karamo, candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, attends a rally by former U.S. President Donald Trump in Warren, Mich.
In this Oct. 1, 2022, file photo, Kristina Karamo, candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, attends a rally by former U.S. President Donald Trump in Warren, Mich.
Dieu-Nalio Chery/Reuters, FILE

In Michigan's secretary of state race, Democrat Jocelyn Benson beat GOP opponent Kristina Karamo, who has repeatedly voiced baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Karamo, who was endorsed by Trump, unsuccessfully sued to invalidate mail-in voting in Detroit weeks before the election.

PHOTO: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, attends an Election Night party, on Nov. 8, 2022, in Detroit.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, attends an Election Night party, on Nov. 8, 2022, in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio/AP

New Mexico voters reelected Democratic secretary of state candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

PHOTO: Mark Finchem, candidate for Secretary of State of Arizona, speaks during a rally with Republican nominee for governor of Arizona Kari Lake at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 7, 2022, on the eve of the US midterm elections.
Mark Finchem, candidate for Secretary of State of Arizona, speaks during a rally with Republican nominee for governor of Arizona Kari Lake at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 7, 2022, on the eve of the US midterm elections.
Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

Her Republican opponent, Audrey Trujillo, had appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast and said she believed that Trump won the 2020 election.

PHOTO: Adrian Fontes, Democratic candidate for Arizona Secretary of State speaks at an election night watch party at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Nov. 8, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Adrian Fontes, Democratic candidate for Arizona Secretary of State speaks at an election night watch party at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Nov. 8, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In Minnesota, Republican Kim Crockett, who falsely claimed in a mailer that the 2020 election was rigged, lost her bid for secretary of state to the incumbent, Democrat Steve Simon.

Democratic state legislator Stephanie Thomas defeated GOP contender Dominic Rapini -- who used to chair the group Fight Voter Fraud, Inc. which supported baseless claims about the 2020 election -- for Connecticut secretary of state.

H. Brooke Paige, a conservative activist who posted on social media that the 2020 election was stolen, lost his bid for Vermont's secretary of state to Democratic state legislator Sarah Copeland Hanzas.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the secretary of state results in two key Southwestern states were too close to call.

PHOTO: Jim Marchant, GOP nominee for secretary of state in Nevada, speaks with people at a campaign event on Nov. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.
Jim Marchant, GOP nominee for secretary of state in Nevada, speaks with people at a campaign event on Nov. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.
John Locher/AP
PHOTO: Cisco Aguilar running to be Nevada's Secretary of State joins a rally to support Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto on election day for the midterm elections in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 8, 2022.
Cisco Aguilar running to be Nevada's Secretary of State joins a rally to support Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto on election day for the midterm elections in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 8, 2022.
David Swanson/Reuters

Mark Finchem, a Republican state representative who has repeatedly pushed election conspiracies and misinformation, is vying for Arizona's secretary of state against Democrat Adrian Fontes. Trump endorsed Finchem in the race. Ballots are still being counted.

In Nevada, former state legislator Jim Marchant, who has repeatedly claimed that Biden didn't win the 2020 election, and Cisco Aguilar, a Democratic lawyer, are seeking the secretary of state seat. Marchant was endorsed by Trump. Votes are still being counted in the state, too.

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