QAnon-linked Republican Jim Marchant wins primary for Nevada's top election post

South Carolina House representative who voted to impeach Donald Trump loses re-election bid

Former Nevada Assemblyman Jim Marchant addresses a crowd in front of the Nevada Capitol in Carson City. AP
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A former US state legislator who has repeated false claims that the 2020 presidential was stolen from former president Donald Trump won Nevada's Republican primary on Tuesday for the state's top election post.

Jim Marchant, who said he ran for secretary of state at the urging of a QAnon influencer, has signalled his willingness for overturning future election results.

The mainly right-wing QAnon promotes unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and a belief that the world is run by a secret group of Satan-worshipping paedophiles.

Since losing a 2020 congressional bid, Mr Marchant has appeared at various events around the country with Trump allies to cast doubt on the last election. That includes MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, who has sought to prove voting machines were somehow manipulated.

The Republican candidate at the time also supported sending pro-Trump electors to Congress in 2020 after the state's six electors were awarded to Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Despite continued claims from Mr Trump and his sympathisers, there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud relating to the presidential election.

Mr Marchant also claimed — without evidence — that he lost his 2020 bid because of voter fraud. He said a “deep state cabal” had “installed” the state's leaders.

In November, he will face Cisco Aguilar, a lawyer and former chair of the Nevada Athletic Commission who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Mr Marchant is one of more than 100 Republican primary winners who have supported Mr Trump's false election fraud claims, a Washington Post analysis shows.

The US House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection said it had records of 61 court defeats from post-election lawsuits filed by Mr Trump.

Still, the former president's efforts to discredit the election's results appear to have permeated the Republican Party.

The Post found those who have backed Mr Trump's false claims or campaigned on the “issue of making elections more secure” are running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state. All are positions with the power to interfere with or overturn election results.

And Republicans who voted to impeach Mr Trump for his role in the insurrection are being punished by voters for defying the former president.

Tom Rice, one of 10 House Republicans in favour of Mr Trump's impeachment, lost his primary in South Carolina to Trump-backed challenger Russell Fry.

“The voters have spoken and Tom Rice is coming home,” said Mr Fry. “Today, Donald Trump won.”

South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace, who denounced Mr Trump's role in the insurrection but did not vote for impeachment, survived her primary battle.

Mr Trump has vowed revenge against the Republicans who voted for his second impeachment. Of those 10, four have decided against re-election. A fifth, Representative David Valadao of California, is still awaiting the results of his primary from last week.

Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, vice chairwoman of the January 6 committee, is well behind in her race against Trump-endorsed candidate Harriett Hageman, recent polling data from WPA Intelligence shows.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: June 16, 2022, 6:24 AM
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