MAGA challengers eye local election races as officials flee threats
Right-wing protesters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. (Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror)

Local election officials are already feeling pressure from Donald Trump supporters ahead of next year's vote.

The former president's allies are challenging election administrators at the local level after a slate of them failed to win statewide races in Arizona, Michigan and other key battlegrounds states, and these races will pose a challenge to officials overseeing those votes while running for re-election themselves, reported Politico.

“Being on the ballot and running the election, it just adds to the stress,” said Barb Byrum, a Democratic clerk from Ingham County, Michigan. “You’re working day and night to make sure every qualified registered voter exercises their right to vote, and then when you’re not working your job, you’re out campaigning for yourself."

Democrats and moderate Republicans are hoping to recruit candidates to stand against a possible wave of MAGA candidates seeking local office, and the liberal group Run for Something has helped to recruit more than 220 candidates for those positions in the midterm elections, and they're focusing on a handful of battleground states for 2024.

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“The thing that keeps me up at night isn’t whether we can beat most of these folks — I think we can beat them in most places — it’s actually whether we get people on the ballot to run against them,” said co-founder Ross Morales Rocketto, “and that to me is actually the harder challenge in all of this.”

But the constant threats from conspiracy theorists have driven many incumbent officials and volunteers from their jobs, so those recruiting efforts will be even more important.

“I think there’s going to be a surprising number [of supervisors] that decide not to run again,” Earley said, "and it’s already happening in staff, too. It’s not just the elected officials.”