Republican Party officials in states across the country are taking an unusually active role in primaries this year, backing candidates who support former president Donald Trump and his election lies and attempting to purge those who do not.
"Here it's a 100-percent purity test," Wyoming GOP state Rep. Landon Brown told the Guardian for a story published Tuesday. "If you are not aligned with Trump, you are not a Republican."
Traditionally, party officials have remained neutral in GOP primaries, but this year they are attempting to purge Trump's critics as the former president uses "his clout and his megaphone and his power to attempt to exact revenge," according to Matt Mackowiak, the chairman of the Travis County GOP in Texas.
In many cases, the decision isn't based on policy issues, but rather simply whether a candidate supports Trump's false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Matt Moore, a former South Carolina Republican party chairman, called the situation "historically odd" and "very strange" — and not in a good way.
"I would argue it actually weakens the party in the long term," Moore said. "It reduces the credibility of chairs, especially when they endorse crackpot candidates against serious US senators."