From left, Kari Lake, Blake Masters and Mark Finchem
CNN  — 

Republican voters in several key swing states could select election deniers as their nominees for governorships and other top offices in primaries Tuesday.

The issue is at the heart of high-profile races in Arizona and Michigan – two of the most important presidential battlegrounds – weeks after Republican voters elsewhere selected promoters of former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 election as nominees for several posts that could position them to manage key states’ election machinery in 2024.

Arizona, in particular, has been the epicenter of Trump’s election denialism. Once a Republican stronghold, the state has become one of the nation’s most competitive, with Democrats winning the presidential race and both Senate seats there in recent years. That political shift was met with a sham, partisan review of the 2020 election results ordered last year by the GOP-led state Senate.

Here’s a look at the election deniers on the ballot in key races Tuesday in the Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state primaries:


Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona Kari Lake speaks to supporters during a campaign event at the Whiskey Roads Restaurant & Bar on July 31, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.

The GOP could be poised to nominate a statewide ticket of Trump-backed election deniers on Tuesday.

In the race to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Trump-endorsed former television journalist Kari Lake has built her campaign around lies about election fraud. She referred to the refusal of her leading rival, Ducey-backed Karrin Taylor Robson, to indulge those lies as “disqualifying.”

The race for secretary of state – Arizona’s chief elections officer – also features an election denier endorsed by Trump in Mark Finchem, a state lawmaker who was in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, and wrongly claims that Trump won the 2020 election.

Trump-backed Blake Masters, who is seeking to face Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, hasn’t just claimed that Democrats “pulled out all the stops” to cheat in 2020, but has suggested the 2022 midterms won’t be fair. Masters faces other Republicans who have rejected the 2020 election outcome, including businessman Jim Lamon, who touts his efforts to fund the bogus review of Maricopa County’s 2020 results. Another candidate, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, sent a letter claiming to have uncovered election fraud, without detailing any fraud in how the election was managed.

Trump’s chosen candidate in the race for attorney general, Abraham Hamadeh, said he would “take the fraud in our 2020 election seriously and bring justice to those who’ve undermined our Republic.”


Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon appears at a debate in Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Trump on Friday endorsed Tudor Dixon in the wide-open Republican primary to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is seeking her second term.

Dixon, a conservative commentator, has falsely claimed that Trump won the 2020 election. She is also backed by Michigan’s GOP establishment, including former US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ family, the state Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Right to Life.

That GOP gubernatorial primary features several other election deniers, as well. One candidate, Ryan Kelley, was in Washington on January 6, 2021, and has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges stemming from allegations of his participation in the riot at the US Capitol. Retired pastor Ralph Rebandt said he is “convinced that we would find the fraud” in the 2020 election with a “full forensic audit.” And chiropractor Garrett Soldano has touted a film that promotes an unproven conspiracy theory about the 2020 election.

In the Grand Rapids-based 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Peter Meijer – one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment following the insurrection at the Capitol – faces a Trump-backed challenger in John Gibbs.

Gibbs has fully embraced Trump’s election lies. He wrongly claimed in a debate with Meijer that the results that led to Biden’s win in 2020 were “simply mathematically impossible” and said that there were “anomalies in there, to put it very lightly.”

Democrats have attempted to boost Gibbs – whom they believe would be easier to beat in November’s general election – with ads casting him as a Trump-aligned conservative.

Michigan Republicans are also expected to pick Trump-backed election deniers in the races for secretary of state and attorney general. At a convention in April, the state GOP endorsed Kristina Karamo, an educator and right-wing commentator who claimed to have witnessed irregularities in 2020’s election, for secretary of state, and Matthew DePerno, who was a lawyer on a case challenging the 2020 results, for attorney general. But those races aren’t on Tuesday’s primary ballot; instead, Republicans will make their choices official at a party convention in August.


Missouri Attorney General and Republican Senate candidate Eric Schmitt speaks to supporters in Hall Pavilion at Englar Park on July 31, 2022 in Farmington, Missouri.

Missouri’s Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt features a field packed with candidates who have embraced Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

State Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s campaign has run ads touting his role in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results.

Former Gov. Eric Greitens, who is attempting a political comeback after resigning in 2018 amid a sex scandal and accusations of campaign misconduct, has promoted conspiracy theories about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose nonprofit gave municipalities millions of dollars in grants to administer the 2020 election. Greitens’ campaign hosted a screening of a film promoting that conspiracy theory. He has also called for Arizona to decertify its 2020 election results, citing a sham, partisan review conducted last year. And he has called for election audits around the nation.

St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey has wrongly claimed that President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election. Rep. Vicky Hartzler said that “we will never know” who won in 2020.

Hartzler and Rep. Billy Long, another Senate candidate, both voted against certifying Biden’s election victory in January 2021.


Joe Kent, center, a Republican who is challenging U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., for her seat in Washington's 3rd Congressional District, speaks during a "Justice For J6" rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2021, in support of people who took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Two more of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face primary challengers backed by the former President and have embraced his lies about the 2020 election.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faces a primary challenge from Trump-backed Joe Kent, who claimed “rampant voter fraud” had taken place in 2020 in an ad his campaign ran on Facebook.

Rep. Dan Newhouse faces Loren Culp, the Republican who lost Washington’s 2020 gubernatorial race and then filed a lawsuit against the state’s chief elections officer, alleging widespread fraud. Culp’s attorney then withdrew the lawsuit after Washington’s attorney general said he would ask a judge to impose sanctions over the “factually baseless” allegations.


Mike Brown the current Republican candidate for Kansas Secretary of State attends the Butler County picnic and addresses the constituents on his campaign platform issues.

Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, a Republican who oversaw the state’s 2020 election, has defended the legitimacy of the voting process there. However, he faces a primary challenger, former Johnson County commissioner Mike Brown, who has built his campaign on casting doubt on elections’ integrity and blamed Schwab for local oversight issues.

“The 2020 election still has me questioning the integrity and accuracy of our election process,” Brown says in a campaign video.