States United Action, a nonpartisan advocacy organization co-founded by Whitman, has been tracking secretary of state races and identified nearly two dozen Republican candidates who deny the results of the 2020 presidential election.
That includes John Adams, a former state lawmaker challenging Ohio’s incumbent secretary of state, Frank LaRose, in Tuesday’s GOP primary. Adams has said “there’s no way that Trump lost” and said LaRose wasn’t any different than Stacey Abrams, a Democrat and national voting rights advocate who is running for governor in Georgia.
LaRose hasn’t talked much about the 2020 election in the campaign other than to say it was secure in Ohio and to tout his office’s pursuit of voter fraud cases. This marked a departure following the 2020 vote in which he praised the work of bipartisan election officials in running a smooth election, promoted voter access and presented statistics showing how rare voter fraud is.
Earlier this year, LaRose brushed aside questions about his shifting rhetoric.
“Unfortunately, some people want to make a political issue out of this,” he said. “Of course, it’s right to be concerned about election integrity.”
The pivot was enough to earn him an endorsement from Trump, who is considering another run for president in 2024 and said LaRose was “dedicated to Secure Elections.” LaRose has been touting the endorsement.