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Financing of Races for Offices that Oversee Elections: February 2022

Fundraising for secretary of state candidates continue to rise at a remarkable pace, and party-aligned groups that are active in election official contests have also seen record-setting donations.

Last Updated: February 16, 2022
Published: February 10, 2022
Collage features currency, contribution totals, and quotes from candidates that deny election results
Daniel Cullen/Spyros Arsenis/EyeEm/Alan Schein Photography/Getty
View the entire Tracking Races for Election Administration Positions series

This year’s elec­tions will determ­ine who runs the 2024 elec­tions for races at every level up to and includ­ing the pres­id­ency. These offices, from governor to secret­ary of state to local super­visors and clerks, play crucial roles in how Amer­ic­ans access the fran­chise as well as how ballots are coun­ted and the results certi­fied. This year’s contests are attract­ing the most atten­tion of any in recent memory.

Part of the reason for the increas­ing visib­il­ity of elec­tion offi­cials is the spread of the Big Lie that the 2020 elec­tion was so corrup­ted by fraud as to call into ques­tion the accur­acy of the result. Across the coun­try, campaigns for posts that will admin­is­ter elec­tions are target­ing “elec­tion denial” as a cent­ral issue. 

In this series, the Bren­nan Center exam­ines the finances and polit­ical messages in many of the most import­ant contests to the future of elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion. 

Through­out 2022, we will be taking a regu­lar look at relev­ant contests in battle­ground states that had the closest results in the 2020 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. This will include races for governor, secret­ary of state, and local elec­tion admin­is­trator posi­tions. As candid­ates file disclos­ure forms and inform­a­tion becomes avail­able, we will exam­ine ques­tions like how much money is raised, who the biggest donors are, how much candid­ates rely on small donors, and how much outside spend­ers like super PACs and dark money groups spend. 

In this entry, we focus on contri­bu­tions to candid­ates for state secret­ary of state, which is the chief elec­tion officer in most states.

Key Takeaways

Record Break­ing Fundrais­ing

  • Fundrais­ing in secret­ary of state elec­tions contin­ues to rise at a remark­able pace: Across the key battle­ground states iden­ti­fied by the Bren­nan Center, contri­bu­tions are three times higher than they were at this point in the 2018 cycle and eight times higher than 2014. The numbers are partic­u­larly high in Arizona, Geor­gia, and Michigan.*
  • In Geor­gia, two candid­ates have raised more than $1 million. U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R), who has said if 2020 was a “fair elec­tion, it would be a differ­ent outcome,” took in $1.6 million. State Rep. Bee Nguyen (D), who has said she fears “a secret­ary of state who is anti-demo­cratic and refuses to certify the results of the elec­tion,” has raised $1.1 million. Facing a primary chal­lenge from Hice, incum­bent Brad Raffen­sper­ger (R) has raised $705,000.
  • Party-aligned groups that are active in elec­tion offi­cial contests in multiple states have also seen record-setting dona­tions.

Broader Donor Interest Across the Nation

  • Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (R), whose campaign sent support­ers an email in Febru­ary announ­cing his bill to “decer­tify three 2020 county elec­tions” in the state, has attrac­ted 7,516 donors, over six times more than the number of the donors to all the candid­ates in the state’s 2018 elec­tion.
  • In Michigan, Secret­ary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), who has said that the “Big Lie is . . . about plant­ing seeds to over­turn the next” elec­tion, has 4,890 donors. One of her chal­lengers, Kristina Karamo (R), who has said voting machines in the state could have flipped 200,000 votes to Joe Biden, has gained 2,206 donors. Each of them has more donors than all the candid­ates put together at this point in 2018.
  • These state races are becom­ing nation­al­ized, with signi­fic­ant money flow­ing in from out-of-state. In Geor­gia, the two fundrais­ing lead­ers together have already raised more out-of-state money than all the candid­ates in the state’s 2018 secret­ary of state elec­tion combined. Two-thirds of Finchem’s donors live outside Arizona. In Michigan, out-of-state contri­bu­tions have soared to $475,000 so far this cycle, three-and-a-half times the amount at this point in 2018 and 90 times that of 2014.

A Contin­ued Focus on Elec­tion Deni­al­ism

  • The issue of elec­tion denial remains a cent­ral campaign topic for candid­ates on both sides of the aisle in key elec­tion admin­is­trator contests through­out the nation, with lead­ing Repub­lican candid­ates ques­tion­ing the legit­im­acy of the 2020 elec­tion, and many lead­ing Demo­crats high­light­ing such views as an exist­en­tial danger to Amer­ican demo­cracy.

Donor Connec­tions to Other 2020 Elec­tion Chal­lenge Efforts

  • Large donors who have ties to elec­tion subver­sion efforts, like the Trump campaign’s elec­tion chal­lenges and the Janu­ary 6 insur­rec­tion, have made contri­bu­tions to secret­ary of state candid­ates who ques­tion the 2020 elec­tion results. 

Below we discuss the finan­cing of secret­ary of state races in battle­ground states based on avail­able data. We focus here on secret­ary of state races because elec­tions for these offices are the most visible offices directly relev­ant to elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion. Future analyses will delve into the finan­cing of races for governor and local offices.

Fundraising Analysis

In all six of the battle­ground states with secret­ary of state elec­tions — Arizona, Geor­gia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wiscon­sin — fundrais­ing for 2022 is at its highest level since 2010.*

Although our analysis is focused on contri­bu­tions given directly to candid­ates, party-aligned groups that are active in multiple states have also seen record-setting dona­tions. The Demo­cratic Asso­ci­ation of Secret­ar­ies of State raised $2.4 million last year, three-and-a-half times its next highest revenue for a non-elec­tion year, and more than even its best elec­tion year, which was $1.8 million in 2020. Repub­lic­ans do not have a direct coun­ter­part, but the Repub­lican State Lead­er­ship Commit­tee, which spends in secret­ary of state races as well as state legis­lat­ive and judi­cial races, also took in a record high amount for a non-elec­tion year, $26.4 million.

Arizona

Secret­ary of State

Fundrais­ing for the 2022 secret­ary of state race in Arizona is more than double the level at this point in the prior cycle and is more than eight times that of the 2014 cycle. So far four candid­ates have outraised what the 2018 winner, Katie Hobbs (D), had at this point. Hobbs was not the fundrais­ing leader then, but both candid­ates that were ahead of her went on to lose their primar­ies. The number of donors in this year’s secret­ary of state elec­tion, 11,566, is higher than that of recent cycles by a factor of 10.

Two of the 2022 candid­ates are head and shoulders above the rest in contri­bu­tions: advert­ising exec­ut­ive Beau Lane (R) ($714,000) and State Rep. Mark Finchem ($663,000). Lane has relied on large dona­tions from just 410 donors. Finchem, who has said that “Trump won” and called for “decer­ti­fy­ing” the elec­tion, has attrac­ted a huge number of donors: 7,516. By compar­ison, only 1,235 people gave to all the Arizona secret­ary of state candid­ates combined in 2018.

A distant second in the number of donors is former Mari­copa County Recorder Adrian Fontes (D), who raised $385,000 from 1,968 contrib­ut­ors. Fontes faced attacks for a plan to send every voter in his county a mail ballot in 2020 and criti­cized the state senate’s partisan review.

Finchem has, far and away, the most out-of-state donors in the race: two-thirds of the 7,516 donors to his campaign live outside of Arizona. State Rep. Regin­ald Bold­ing (D) — who has raised alarm about elec­tion denial in ads by saying, “The fate of our demo­cracy is on the line right now” — has the next greatest reli­ance on out-of-state donors, with 54 percent of his 1,390 donors from other states. Lane, Fontes, and state Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R) all saw 80 to 90 percent of their donors living in Arizona.

Finchem and Bold­ing’s out-of-state fundrais­ing successes are like noth­ing Arizona has seen in recent years. The amount that donors from other states have contrib­uted is almost 10 times more than in the 2018 cycle and over 30 times more than in either the 2014 or 2010 cycle.

So far in this open-seat race, contri­bu­tions to Repub­lic­ans, at $1.6 million, are more than double the amount given to Demo­crats, $700,000. This is driven by the facts that the two candid­ates domin­at­ing fundrais­ing are both Repub­lic­ans, and the GOP also has a larger number of compet­it­ive candid­ates in its primary.

Issue Advert­ising

Outside spend­ers — those other than the candid­ates them­selves — often focus messages on issues that are prom­in­ent in an elec­tion to help one side or the other. This spend­ing, which can come from super PACs, dark money groups, or others, is usually concen­trated in the final weeks before voters head to the polls. Even though it is still early, there has already been some outside spend­ing in Arizona focused on the issue of elec­tion denial. These messages, and future ads in this vein, could impact races for elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion posts.

For instance, Oppor­tun­ity Arizona, a national nonprofit advocacy group, has spent an estim­ated $573,000 on ads criti­ciz­ing Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who is term-limited, over the Mari­copa partisan review and attempts to change mail voting laws. Another national group, Defend­ing Demo­cracy Together, bought TV ads that feature Repub­lican local offi­cials from Arizona saying the result of the ballot review by the company Cyber Ninjas was to “desec­rate our demo­cracy” and call­ing for Repub­lic­ans to stop lying about the elec­tion. In a poten­tial indic­a­tion of further plans in the state, the same group put out an ad in late Janu­ary attack­ing gubernat­orial candid­ate Kari Lake (R) as an “enemy of demo­cracy” for her stance that Trump won the elec­tion and that she would not have certi­fied the 2020 elec­tion.

Geor­gia

The amount of money flow­ing into the Geor­gia secret­ary of state elec­tion is four times higher than it was at this point in 2018 and 30 times higher than in 2014. U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who has said if 2020 was a “fair elec­tion, it would be a differ­ent outcome,” has a strong lead with $1.6 million. Hice has raised twice as much as the incum­bent he is chal­len­ging in the Repub­lican primary, Brad Raffen­sper­ger, who has collec­ted $705,000.

The fundrais­ing leader among the Demo­crats, State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who has said she fears “a secret­ary of state who is anti-demo­cratic and refuses to certify the results of the elec­tion,” has raised $1.1 million. All three of these lead­ing fundraisers have blown far past the highest amount raised at this point in any of the last four cycles, which was Brian Kemp’s (R) $388,000 in 2010. 

In a sign of intense national interest in the race, the combined contri­bu­tions from outside of Geor­gia to the two lead­ing fundraisers in this elec­tion have already topped the total amount of out-of-state dona­tions to all the Geor­gia secret­ary of state candid­ates for the whole 2018 cycle. Hice has raised $420,000 from other states, and Nguyen $308,000. In the 2018 cycle, the race saw $675,000 from outside Geor­gia, the vast major­ity of which went to former U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D). Out-of-state contri­bu­tions in the 2014 cycle totaled less than $30,000.

Across all the candid­ates in the 2022 race, Repub­lic­ans have the fundrais­ing advant­age, with a total of $2.7 million going to those vying for the nomin­a­tion, includ­ing the incum­bent. The Demo­cratic candid­ates together have raised $1.6 million.

Michigan 

Fundrais­ing in the Michigan secret­ary of state race is three times higher than at this point in the last elec­tion cycle. This is driven largely by incum­bent Secret­ary of State Jocelyn Benson, who has raised $1.5 million as of Decem­ber 31. With another 10 months until the elec­tion, that is almost as much as the $1.6 million Benson raised for the entire 2018 cycle. Benson, who has said that the “Big Lie is . . . about plant­ing seeds to over­turn the next” elec­tion, has amassed 4,890 donors this cycle. That is three times more than the number of donors to all Michigan secret­ary of state candid­ates combined by this point in 2018.

Kristina Karamo comes in a distant second in fundrais­ing, with $233,000. More than 2,000 donors have suppor­ted Karamo, who claims that Trump won the elec­tion. Although that is a much small number than Benson’s, it is still more than the total number of donors in the secret­ary of state elec­tion by the same point in the last cycle.

None of the candid­ates oppos­ing Karamo in the Repub­lican primary has raised a signi­fic­ant sum.

The fundrais­ing successes of Benson and Karamo have driven massive increases in the number of donors in the contest, as well as dona­tions from people who live outside of Michigan. Over­all, 7,142 people have given to a secret­ary of state candid­ate this cycle, virtu­ally all of them to either Benson or Karamo. That is almost five times the number of contri­bu­tions given to all candid­ates in 2018 and over six times more than in 2010 or 2014 (all these compar­is­ons are to Decem­ber of the year before the elec­tion). Out-of-state money has surged, by similar propor­tions, to $475,000 so far this cycle. 

Minnesota

In Minnesota, contri­bu­tions to secret­ary of state candid­ates are more than four times those to this point in the 2018 cycle and double those in 2014. As in other states, the incum­bent has a strong fundrais­ing lead. Secret­ary of State Steve Simon’s (D) haul is more than six times the combined fundrais­ing of both candid­ates in the Repub­lican primary. Simon has raised more through Decem­ber than he took in for the entire 2018 cycle (he was also the incum­bent in that elec­tion). 

Nevada

The $911,000 flow­ing into the Nevada secret­ary of state race is far higher than in recent cycles. In this year’s race, Cisco Aguilar (D), an attor­ney and former staffer to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, is the fundrais­ing leader with $486,000. Second is Repub­lican former State Rep. Jim Marchant — who said if he were secret­ary of state in 2020 he would have refused to certify Biden’s win — has amassed $136,000. (Note: Nevada data updated on Febru­ary 16 with addi­tional candid­ates and fundrais­ing totals)

Wiscon­sin 

In Wiscon­sin, the secret­ary of state does not admin­is­ter elec­tions and in fact has little author­ity of any kind. The Wiscon­sin Elec­tions Commis­sion, like elec­tions admin­is­trat­ors in many states, has been attacked over the 2020 elec­tions. There has been a push, includ­ing by several declared candid­ates for secret­ary of state or governor, to give the secret­ary of state greater power over elec­tions. 

The incum­bent, Secret­ary of State Doug LaFol­lette (D), has been in office continu­ously since 1983, in addi­tion to a term in the 1970s. Early contri­bu­tions have been essen­tially nonex­ist­ent in recent elec­tions, but in this cycle Amy Louden­beck (R) has almost single­han­dedly driven fundrais­ing to $75,000. Louden­beck is a six-term member of the state assembly who sits on the power­ful Joint Finance Commit­tee, and her exper­i­ence fundrais­ing for legis­lat­ive campaigns has likely given her a boost in this race. She is campaign­ing on giving the secret­ary of state more power, saying that an elec­ted offi­cial should act as a “check” on the appoin­ted Wiscon­sin Elec­tion Commis­sion. 

Election Denialism in 2022 Campaigns

As detailed below and in our prior report, candid­ates across the nation are using their campaigns to claim wide­spread fraud in the 2020 elec­tion, and many impli­citly or expli­citly argue that control of elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion in 2022 will determ­ine the future and survival of Amer­ican demo­cracy. In all six of the battle­ground states with secret­ary of state elec­tions in 2022, there is at least one candid­ate who has ques­tioned the legit­im­acy of the last pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. 

Below, we exam­ine state­ments by candid­ates for elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion posi­tions who have made elec­tion deni­al­ism a key issue in their campaigns. By “elec­tion denial,” we mean claims that the last elec­tion was ille­git­im­ate or reached the wrong result. Narrat­ives and buzzwords of elec­tion denial include elec­tion fraud, stop the steal, offi­cials rigged the vote, suit­cases of ballots appear­ing, dead people voting, and so on.

In addi­tion, we collect examples of candid­ates making oppos­i­tion to elec­tion denial cent­ral to their campaigns. These candid­ates argue that the 2020 elec­tion was secure and reached the correct result, and they frequently portray elec­tion deni­al­ist candid­ates as exist­en­tial threats to elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion or demo­cracy.

The list of examples below builds on those we collec­ted last month and is not compre­hens­ive. States United has published examples of elec­tion denial by candid­ates, includ­ing in states that are not battle­grounds, as well as in state attor­ney general elec­tions.

Arizona

Secret­ary of State

Regin­ald Bold­ing

Arizona State Rep. Regin­ald Bold­ing is campaign­ing on the dangers of elec­tion deniers taking office. A campaign ad on Face­book says “if we don’t win, then Donald Trump’s hand­picked candid­ate will have control of our elec­tions. The fate of our demo­cracy is on the line right now.” In an inter­view, Bold­ing said of Repub­lic­ans’ focus on secret­ary of state races, “They’re going to try to do in 2024 what they could­n’t do in 2020.”

Screenshot of Reginald Bolding Facebook ad

Shawnna Bolick

Arizona State Rep. Shawnna Bolick is the author of a Decem­ber 2020 resol­u­tion call­ing for Congress to award Arizon­a’s elect­ors to Trump and block the certi­fic­a­tion of the elec­tion result. In May 2021, she sponsored a bill that would allow the state legis­lature to over­ride the popu­lar vote and revoke the secret­ary of state’s certi­fic­a­tion. In a campaign video, Bolick implies that Arizona elec­tion offi­cials have been “chan­ging the rules to favor their preferred polit­ical party.” Bolick’s campaign has sent emails to support­ers predict­ing that if her proposed reforms are not enacted, “the manip­u­la­tion of our elec­tions from the Left will continue and our voices will be silenced.”

Screenshot of Shawnna Bolick Facebook ad

Geor­gia

Secret­ary of State

John Eaves

John Eaves (D), who used to chair the Fulton County Board of Commis­sion­ers, posted on Face­book: “there is no indic­a­tion of fraud in last year’s elec­tion. The results still stand that after three ballot counts and multiple invest­ig­a­tions Demo­crat Joe Biden defeated Repub­lican incum­bent Donald Trump in Geor­gi­a’s pres­id­en­tial elec­tion by about 12,000 votes. It is time we move past the ‘big lie’ as it is a consist­ent waste of tax dollars.”

Michigan

Governor

Ryan Kelley

Busi­ness owner Ryan Kelley (R) has said that the elec­tion was “stolen” and called for lawmakers to “decer­tify” it. In remarks at a Janu­ary 2022 meet­ing where he encour­aged support­ers to sign up to serve as poll work­ers, Kelley said, “if you see some­thing you don’t like happen­ing with the [voting] machines . . . unplug it from the wall.” He shared the floor with another candid­ate who called on support­ers to come to the polls “armed.” Kelly also said, “‘Give me liberty or give me death’ means you fight right now.”

Minnesota

Secret­ary of State

Steve Simon

In a Janu­ary 2022 inter­view, Minnesota Secret­ary of State Steve Simon said the elec­tion “was funda­ment­ally fair, accur­ate, honest, and secure.” He described Trump’s claims of voting irreg­u­lar­it­ies as “not just factu­ally wrong. It is corrod­ing our demo­cracy in many ways.”

Screenshot of Steve Simon tweet

Nevada

Governor

Joey Gilbert 

The campaign of gubernat­orial candid­ate Joey Gilbert (R), an attor­ney, sent an email to support­ers that begins, “If our votes don’t count, our repub­lic is doomed.” The email goes on to call on Gilber­t’s support­ers to serve as poll work­ers, explain­ing: “Watch­ers are only able to witness fraud taking place. Work­ers can stop it when they see it.” Another email claims that errors on voter rolls in 2020 mean “almost HALF of all votes could have been stolen.” 

Joe Lombardo

Although Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lombardo (R) has acknow­ledged that Biden won, he has ques­tioned whether it was “fair and square.” He has said he didn’t know if the results were accur­ate, and that he believes “there was fraud on both sides.” 

New Hamp­shire

Governor

Karen Test­er­man

Karen Test­er­man (R), a former member of the Frank­lin City Coun­cil, said in an inter­view about her campaign announce­ment that she does not believe Trump lost the elec­tion in New Hamp­shire. She has said there is wide­spread elec­tion fraud in the state and that “votes are not being coun­ted accur­ately to say the least.” In early 2021, Test­er­man was one of the signat­or­ies of a docu­ment that called for the “termin­a­tion of the state,” proclaim­ing that the New Hamp­shire govern­ment was ille­git­im­ate and the 2020 elec­tions were “void for fraud.”

Pennsylvania

Governor

Joe Gale

As a Mont­gomery County commis­sioner, Joe Gale (R) voted not to certify Biden’s win in the county, alleging “irreg­u­lar­it­ies” and “unveri­fied mail-in ballots.” In a Janu­ary 2022 debate, he said there is “no way” Biden received the most votes of any pres­id­en­tial candid­ate.

Charlie Gerow

Charlie Gerow (R), a public rela­tions exec­ut­ive and polit­ical comment­ator, signed the false Elect­oral College certi­fic­ate that attemp­ted to assign Pennsylvani­a’s elect­ors to Trump. Janu­ary posts from the “Charlie for Governor” Face­book page say “Mail-ins are RIPE for fraud,” and that Gerow’s prior­it­ies include “Elec­tion Integ­rity because if we can’t get people to trust the vote we have no demo­cracy.”

Dave White 

In a campaign ad from former Delaware County Coun­cil Member Dave White (R), the candid­ate says, “If there wasn’t any fraud in the Pennsylvania elec­tion, why every time we call for an audit do the Demo­crats cry like a little baby?” He claims Gov. Tom Wolf was “caught cheat­ing” in the elec­tion, refer­ring to the governor having his wife drop off his marked ballot in viol­a­tion of state law.

Screenshot of TV ad from Dave White's campaign
TV ad from Dave White’s campaign

Texas 

With a March 1 primary and early voting begin­ning Febru­ary 14, Texas will hold the earli­est elec­tion among the battle­ground states.

Governor 

Danny Harrison

Danny’s Harris­on’s (R) campaign website critiques the incum­bent he is oppos­ing in the primary, saying, “Where was Governor Abbott when the elec­tion was stolen from back in Novem­ber?”

Don Huffines

The campaign website of Don Huffines (R), a former state senator, claims: “Illegal aliens have cast ballots in Texas elec­tions” and “crim­in­als [can] cast votes on behalf of dead people.” The page states that in 2020, the governor “allowed Demo­crat-run counties to flag­rantly viol­ate state elec­tion law while Repub­lican poll watch­ers were denied access to observe ballot count­ing.”

Chad Prather

Chad Prather (R), host of a show on the conser­vat­ive Blaze TV outlet, has tweeted that “Stolen elec­tions get people killed.” The “elec­tion integ­rity” section of his campaign website refer­ences conspir­acy theor­ies about the 2020 elec­tion, includ­ing propos­als requir­ing that polling places be searched for “hidden boxes of suspect ballots,” as well as having “build­ings surroun­ded by trus­ted people for 48 hours (or until count is announced) to ensure no strange vehicles turn up with ‘found’ ballots.”

Screenshot of Chad Prather tweet

Allen West

Former member of Congress Allen West (R) has called for audits of the 2020 vote in Texas and said that the Harris County Clerk “should prob­ably be in jail for what he tried to do in under­min­ing Texas elec­tion law.” In another inter­view promoted by his campaign, West refer­enced “uncon­sti­tu­tional actions” by governors and judges to change elec­tion law.

Hood County Clerk

Like approx­im­ately half of Texas counties, Hood County employs an elec­tions admin­is­trator, who is not elec­ted but rather appoin­ted by a commis­sion of local offi­cials. The county clerk does not run elec­tions, although the clerk sits on the five-member commis­sion that appoints the elec­tions admin­is­trator. We include the Hood County clerk elec­tion here because elec­tion denial is a prom­in­ent issue distin­guish­ing two candid­ates in the Repub­lican primary.

Michelle Carew

Michelle Carew (R), the former appoin­ted elec­tions admin­is­trator for Hood County, criti­cized elec­tion deni­al­ism in her campaign announce­ment, decry­ing attempts “to control how elec­tions are run, just to bene­fit a radical polit­ic­ally partisan group.” Carew entered the race after the incum­bent clerk, Katie Lang, attacked her for allegedly being biased in running the elec­tion. Lang attemp­ted to oust Carew, who even­tu­ally resigned and entered the race to chal­lenge Lang. In a Wash­ing­ton Post op-ed published days before she declared her candid­acy, Carew wrote that “the constant ques­tion­ing of the 2020 elec­tion and the constant spread of lies foster an envir­on­ment that encour­ages attacks against elec­tion offi­cials.” She insisted that “the votes were coun­ted fairly.”

Major Donors Supporting Election Denialism

Just as the elec­tion denial messages are being repeated in state and local elec­tions across the nation, some of the same donors are support­ing candid­ates running on elec­tion denial in multiple races. And some of these donors have previ­ously suppor­ted vari­ous efforts to over­turn the 2020 elec­tion result.

Richard Uihlein

Ship­ping and pack­aging supplies magnate Richard Uihlein has given millions to groups involved in chal­len­ging the elec­tion result through dona­tions from the Ed Uihlein Family Found­a­tion, which he funds. Uihlein gave $1.25 million to the Conser­vat­ive Part­ner­ship Insti­tute, which employs Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who worked on the Trump campaign’s lawsuit to “set aside and disreg­ard the elec­tion results” in Geor­gia over alleged fraud and parti­cip­ated in the phone call in which Donald Trump deman­ded state elec­tion offi­cials “find” 11,780 votes for him. Uihlein has given to media outlets that promoted false inform­a­tion about the elec­tion, as well as groups involved in the Janu­ary 6 insur­rec­tion: the Tea Party Patri­ots and Turn­ing Point USA.

Uihlein has given to elec­tion deni­al­ist candid­ates in secret­ary of state elec­tions as well. Last year, he donated $7,000 to Jody Hice in Geor­gia and $5,000 to Jim Marchant in Nevada — both dona­tions were the maximum allowed at the time.

David Bossie

The Trump campaign initially assigned David Bossie to lead its elec­tion chal­lenge efforts, but he was side­lined by a Covid-19 infec­tion. Bossie heads a group called the Pres­id­en­tial Coali­tion, which gave $7,000, the limit at the time, to Geor­gia secret­ary of state candid­ate Jody Hice. This is a change from the group’s activ­ity in the 2018 elec­tion, when it donated $3,900 to Brad Raffen­sper­ger, who is now being opposed by Hice in the primary and has faced attacks by elec­tion deniers. Bossie has publicly expressed interest in support­ing Mark Finchem in Arizona.

Save Amer­ica PAC

Donald Trump uses his lead­er­ship PAC, Save Amer­ica, to raise funds and support allies, and it has raised over $105 million. The commit­tee gave $7,000 to Jody Hice in Geor­gia and $5,000 to Arizona gubernat­orial candid­ate Kari Lake, who claims that Trump won the 2020 elec­tion. It remains to be seen whether the PAC, through candid­ate contri­bu­tions like these or inde­pend­ent expendit­ures in larger amounts, gets involved in more races with implic­a­tions for elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion.

* — This sentence was updated on Febru­ary 16 to account for addi­tional fundrais­ing data from Nevada.