Tracker Looks at 2022 Contests for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State; Finds That 2 out of 3 Contests for Governor and Secretary of State include an Election Denier Candidate; 1 out of 3 Attorney General Races
Washington, D.C. — States United Action today released a new tool, Replacing the Refs, which tracks the trend of candidates who deny the results of the 2020 election (Election Deniers) running for office in 2022. The new tool focuses on contests for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state — the statewide officials who run, oversee, and protect our elections. States United Action will be tracking these contests throughout the midterm cycle.
Looking at candidates who have announced and/or filed for statewide office for the 2022 cycle, the tracker identifies the following Election Denier landscape as of January 2022:
- At least 51 Election Deniers are running for Governor in 24 states.
- At least 11 Election Deniers are running for Attorney General in 10 states.
- At least 21 Election Deniers are running for Secretary of State in 18 states.
“The anti-democracy playbook is simple: change the rules and change the referees, in order to change the results,” said Joanna Lydgate, CEO of States United Action. “Our Election Denier tracker puts a spotlight on those running for statewide office to oversee our elections. With extreme candidates running on election lies as a campaign issue up and down the ballot, it’s never been more important to elect leaders from both sides of the aisle who respect the rule of law and the will of the voters.”
“We are seeing Democrat and Republican statewide officials who defended the will of the people in 2020 being challenged or primaried by Election Deniers in red and blue states alike,” said former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Co-Chair of States United Action. “Elections are national events run by the states, so these positions are critical to a government of, by, and for the people. It’s important that we pay attention, and early, to the rhetoric about our election system happening in these down-ballot races.”
“Our tracker takes the increasingly chaotic 2022 campaign landscape and offers a clear picture: There is a trend of Election Deniers running for office across critical statewide positions. Even this early in the cycle, two out of three Secretary of State races have someone running who falsely claimed that Trump won in 2020, publicly spread lies or conspiracies about that election, or took an action to undermine its integrity,” said Thania Sanchez, Research Director at States United Action. “We will continue to monitor and track these contests throughout the midterm cycle as part of our efforts to better understand the threats to our democracy and how we can defend against them.”
The States United Democracy Center, Protect Democracy and Law Forward identified this trend of Election Deniers running for office in their 2021 year-end analysis on election subversion in the states. Review their Democracy Crisis in the Making series for more insight on the anti-democracy strategy here.
About States United Action
States United Action is a nonpartisan section 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization with a mission to protect our elections and our democracy. States United Action advocates for policies that protect election integrity, hold democracy violators accountable, and prevent political violence that threatens to undermine the will of the American people, and amplifies the voices of state leaders and law enforcement leaders who share these values.