“In Races to Run Elections, Candidates Are Backed by Key 2020 Deniers”


Key figures in the effort to subvert the 2020 presidential election have thrown their weight behind a slate of Republican candidates for secretary of state across the country, injecting specious theories about voting machines, foreign hacking and voter fraud into campaigns that will determine who controls elections in several battleground states.

The America First slate comprises more than a dozen candidates who falsely claim the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump. It grew out of meetings held by a conspiracy-mongering QAnon leader and a Nevada politician, and has quietly gained support from influential people in the election denier movement — including Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder, and Patrick Byrne, the former Overstock.com executive who has financed public forums that promote the candidates and theories about election vulnerabilities.

Members of the slate have won party endorsements or are competitive candidates for the Republican nomination in several states, including three — Michigan, Arizona and Nevada — where a relatively small number of ballots have decided presidential victories. And in Pennsylvania, where the governor appoints the secretary of state, State Senator Doug Mastriano, who is aligned with the group, easily won his primary for governor last month.

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