Gubernatorial candidates in states Donald Trump didn't even win are promising voters they'll return him to the White House in 2024.
The twice-impeached one-term president's influence over the GOP has pumped his 2020 election lies directly into primary races this year for governor, as candidates make his baseless fraud claims a central core of their own campaigns, reported Politico.
”I tell [Trump], the only way we can guarantee that, in 2024, we have a Republican president, is we need a leader here in the state of Nevada that understands our election laws and [is] willing to change them,” said Dean Heller, a former Republican senator who's running for Nevada governor.
Heller denounced his own state's election laws as corrupt in a recent debate and promised voters he would ensure that a Republican would be elected president if he was governor.
“Republicans win when the process is fair,” said Heller, who sometimes clashed with Trump early in his presidency but later embraced him during a losing 2018 campaign. “I want a Republican president in 2024. It is going to take a Republican governor to make the necessary changes in order to make that happen.”
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who became a national figure by amplifying Trump's election lies and working to undo his loss there, campaigned with two other election conspiracists, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, but thus far he hasn't official endorsed any of the gubernatorial candidates competing for his attention -- and supporters.
"He's still the biggest name in politics, whatever you think about him," said former Trump administration official Mick McKeown, a Pennsylvania native, "and for Republican primary voters, I think he can still resonate with a significant portion of the base. In a crowded primary like this, an endorsement from President Trump, while weighty, would carry even more weight."