Jim Marchant, a QAnon-linked candidate who has unabashedly embraced the idea of overturning future election results, won the Republican nomination to be Nevada’s top election official on Tuesday.
Marchant has said that he ran for secretary of state at the urging of Juan O Savin, a prominent QAnon influencer. After losing a congressional bid by more than 16,000 votes in 2020, Marchant claimed he was the victim of fraud, but failed to produce any evidence of it in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the result.
He has told voters that their vote hasn’t mattered for decades because Nevada’s leaders have “been installed by the deep state cabal”.
After Joe Biden won the state in 2020, Marchant supported sending an alternate pro-Trump slate of electors to Congress. He said in January he would be prepared to do the same in 2024.
He has also pushed counties to decertify Dominion voting machines and to only tally votes using a hand count of paper ballots, a method that experts warn is unreliable. He has also pledged to eliminate all mail-in and early voting in Nevada, according to CNN, and use ballots with holograms and watermarks.
Marchant’s victory is the latest in a string of wins of candidates who have built their political careers on falsehoods about the 2020 election.
In Michigan, Republicans nominated for secretary of state and attorney general Kristina Karamo and Matthew DePerno, two political novices who became rightwing celebrities after spreading debunked claims about the 2020 election.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans nominated Doug Mastriano, who played a key role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, to be the next governor. Audrey Trujilo, who called the 2020 election a “coup”, won her party’s nomination for secretary of state. Overall, more than 100 Republican candidates who have embraced the myth of a stolen election have won primaries, according to a tally by the Washington Post.
Marchant has been one of the leaders of the America First slate, an alliance of candidates running for top election offices who supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and continue to spread baseless claims about the election. If elected, these candidates would be in a key position to overturn a legitimate vote in the 2024 race.
“If we get just a few of the candidates that we have in our coalition, we save our country,” said Marchant to Steve Bannon on his podcast earlier this month, according to Politico.
Trump, meanwhile, helped a South Carolina state lawmaker take out five-term incumbent Tom Rice, who backed the former president’s second impeachment last year. Another incumbent that the former president sought to defeat in a neighboring district, Nancy Mace, held back the challenger, attracting some of the suburban moderates who bolted from the GOP during the Trump era.
Speaking to reporters after the results came in, Mace sought to strike a tone of consensus, pledging to “work with anyone who’s willing to work with me, full stop”.
For his part, Trump posted a statement on his social media platform saying Mace’s challenger, Katie Arrington, was a “long shot” who ran a “great race”. He offered his congratulations to Mace, who he said should easily prevail over a Democrat in the fall.
Last month, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, fended off a challenge from Jody Hice, who embraced lies about the 2020 election.