Jim Marchant, one of the organisers of a Trump-inspired “America First” slate of candidates who continue to cast doubt on the election’s legitimacy, won the Republican nomination for Secretary of State in Nevada, a critical political battleground, with ease.
The Associated Press predicted his triumph.
Mr Marchant, who was also a part of Nevada’s alternate slate of pro-Trump electors aiming to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the state in 2020, has stated that if he had been in office at the time, he would have refused to certify that year’s election.
In his bid to become Nevada’s top election official, he has proposed decertifying Dominion voting machines and advocating for paper votes to be counted by hand, which experts warn would cause lengthy delays and turmoil in the voting process.
In the general election, he will face Cisco Aguilar, a Democratic lawyer who previously worked for former Senator Harry Reid, in a closely watched contest that could be decided by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s re-election campaign.
Election results for down-ballot offices such as secretary of state have often — but not always — closely paralleled those for top-of-the-ticket contests.
Mr Marchant, a former state assemblyman, campaigned for Congress in 2020 but lost.
Rather than accept defeat in a race he lost by more than 16,000 votes or approximately 5% of the vote, he accused fraud of his defeat, launching a lawsuit that mimicked many other Republicans’ disproved accusations about the 2020 election.
Despite the failure of the lawsuit and an attempt to hold a fresh election in Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, Mr Marchant remained an outspoken opponent of the 2020 results.
His efforts were quickly turned into campaign material for a bid for Secretary of State. Mr Marchant stated this year in an interview with The New York Times that he had been approached by supporters of former President Donald J. Trump who pushed him to compete for Secretary of State.
Mr Marchant was instrumental in forming the “America First” slate of candidates for secretary of state and other positions shortly after announcing his candidacy.
Mark Finchem, an Arizona secretary of state candidate who has led efforts to decertify the 2020 election, and Kristina Karamo, the likely Republican nominee for secretary of state in Michigan, were initially on the list.
Mr Finchem has pushed the falsehood that voting machines were “flipping” votes for Mr Biden, among other lies.
Mike Lindell, the inventor of MyPillow, and Patrick Byrne, the founder of Overstock.com, contributed to the group, which has since grown to include over a dozen applicants.
The “America First” slate’s recent meetings and events have featured major proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and the candidates have frequently travelled to other states to speak at election-related demonstrations.
Mr Marchant is the group’s fourth successful candidate for the Republican nomination:
Audrey Trujillo, a New Mexico secretary of state candidate, faced no opposition in the primary.
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Last month, Doug Mastriano, a Republican governor candidate in Pennsylvania, won his primary. If elected, he will have the power to appoint the state’s chief election official.
And in Michigan, Ms Karamo has earned the support of Republican delegates, all but ensuring her victory in the state’s August primary.