Below, we compile quotes from campaigns’ ads, websites, social media posts, and statements reported in the media that illustrate endorsement or opposition to election denial — claims that the process or result of the last presidential election was illegitimate. Each of the candidates is running for an office that will play a role in administering future elections in Minnesota. Information about the financing of these campaigns and those in other battleground states can be found here.
Minnesota: Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions
A collection of examples illustrates the prevalence of election denial in 2022 contests for the offices that will run the next elections in Minnesota.
Paul Gazelka (withdrew)
State Sen. Paul Gazelka (R), responding to a debate question about what changes to Minnesota voting law are needed, suggested that Trump lost because the state does not require “Voter ID.” He called for eliminating mail ballots because: “That’s where we saw all the corruption.” He has acknowledged the 2020 Electoral College result, while maintaining, “I don’t think the election was fair.”
Scott Jensen (won primary)
Former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R), when asked in a debate whether Biden won the Electoral College, said, “I can’t know what I don’t know, and I think we have to take that attitude towards 2020.” He went on to claim that, in Arizona, dead people voted, and more mail ballots were returned than were sent by officials. In another candidate forum, Jensen said: “You should be angry that your election process was bastardized, and it’s got to change,” and he called for a “forensic audit.” In remarks at a local GOP convention in April, Jensen implied that Secretary of State Steve Simon could be imprisoned for the way he has run elections, saying cheaters are “going to jail” and Simon “better check out to see if you look good in stripes.”
Mike Murphy (withdrew)
Mike Murphy (R), the mayor of Lexington, Minnesota, said in a debate: “I do believe there was voter fraud at a massive scale across this country.” In another forum, he said: “There was election fraud in 2020,” and added that he is on a panel working to “decertify” Wisconsin’s election. He called for a “forensic audit process” in Minnesota and promised as governor he will audit the 2020 election. His campaign website says: “The 2020 election highlighted the inaccuracies in our voting system.”
Secretary of State
Kim Crockett (won primary)
Kim Crockett (R), a lawyer working with the election integrity group Minnesota Voters Alliance, has questioned the results of the 2020 election and argued that voting procedures enable fraud. At the state Republican Party convention, the Crockett campaign showed a video that depicted incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon controlled by puppet strings in the hands of investor and philanthropist George Soros with the caption, “Let’s wreck elections forever and ever.” She is also part of a national right-wing network that is recruiting an army of activists to become poll workers. The network is led by Cleta Mitchell, a Republican lawyer who attempted to help former President Trump change the 2020 election results in Georgia. Crockett sent supporters an email in May celebrating Republican efforts to recruit election judges. The email says the effort will “help flip Minnesota.” Another Crockett email says Republicans need to overcome a “margin of fraud” in the upcoming election. In March, she tweeted an image reading “2020? Never Again.” In the tweet, Crockett pledges: “I’m committed to ensuring ineligible ballots and illegal election procedures do not disenfranchise legitimate voters.”
Steve Simon (won primary)
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) said of election denial that the “cloud of disinformation” is a problem, asserting that people are pushing it for political and financial advantage. In a January 2022 interview, 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.”