GOP election deniers are gaining control of Republican operations
Mesa County Clerk and Colorado Republican candidate for secretary of state Tina Peters reacts to early election returns during a primary night watch party at the Wide Open Saloon on June 28, 2022 in Sedalia, Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Republicans who ran on election conspiracy theories lost a number of critical races around the country last year — in particular several who were running to be secretaries of state, administering state election systems themselves.

But according to States Newsroom, Republicans are increasingly giving some of these candidates a consolation prize: the chairmanship of state and local parties.

"On Saturday, Kristina Karamo, an activist who rose to prominence for her efforts to overturn Michigan’s 2020 presidential results, was elected chair of the Michigan GOP at the party’s convention," reported Zachary Roth. "A week earlier, Mike Brown, a former county commissioner who has stoked fears that the 2020 election was stolen, won the same job at Kansas’ convention. And in July, Idaho Republicans chose Dorothy Moon, a former state legislator who has said there was a 'big problem' with the 2020 vote and made unfounded claims about illegal voting, as their leader." All of these candidates lost either primary or general elections for secretary of state.

And yet another could be around the corner. Tina Peters, a failed Colorado Secretary of State candidate and Mesa County clerk who was indicted for tampering with voting systems to try to prove the 2020 election was stolen, is running for chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

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This comes as some election denying candidates have actually won their races, the report noted, albeit most to less powerful local offices: "Already, hundreds of deniers are in office across the country. A Brookings Institution study found that 226 out of 345 candidates who ran for congressional, state legislative, or statewide positions — 66% — won their races. And, as States Newsroom recently reported, at least five states have deniers running their election systems as secretary of state."

It also occurs against the backdrop of former President Donald Trump facing multiple criminal investigations for his involvement in plots to overturn the 2020 election, with a special grand jury in Georgia recently making a partially sealed report.