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Texas: 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 Texas.

Published: March 29, 2022
Illustration featuring the state of Texas
Brennan Center for Justice
View the entire Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions series

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 Texas. Inform­a­tion about the finan­cing of these campaigns and those in other battle­ground states can be found here.

Governor

Danny Harrison (lost primary)

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

Don Huffines (lost primary)

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.” In Febru­ary, the Huffines campaign sent an email to support­ers claim­ing that an interim report on the Texas secret­ary of state’s audit of the 2020 elec­tion “proves that illegal aliens are voting in Texas elec­tions” and criti­ciz­ing Gov. Greg Abbott for allegedly oppos­ing “a full forensic audit.” A campaign Face­book ad from August 2021 called for “a full forensic audit of the 2020 elec­tion results in our state’s largest counties.”

Chad Prather (lost primary)

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 (lost primary)

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 an inter­­view promoted by his campaign, West refer­­enced “uncon­­sti­tu­­tional actions” by governors and judges to change elec­­tion law

Hood County Clerk

Michelle Carew (lost primary)

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.”

Travis County Clerk

Susan Haynes

Susan Haynes (R), a nurse prac­ti­tioner, has centered her campaign on the prom­ise that she will end “irreg­u­lar­it­ies in elec­tions.” One of the few posts on her campaign Face­book page says, in part, “No more elec­tion irreg­u­lar­it­ies. Our votes will be heard.”

Dyana Limon-Mercado

Dyana Limon-Mercado (D), the exec­ut­ive director of Planned Parent­hood Texas Votes, has opposed elec­tion denial. On the anniversary of the Janu­ary 6 riot to prevent Congress certi­fy­ing Pres­id­ent Biden’s Elect­oral College win, she tweeted a campaign video in which she claims, “Repub­lic­ans spent 2021 trying to rig our elec­tions in their favor.” The video criti­cizes Texas Attor­ney General Ken Paxton’s attempt to charge the outgo­ing Travis County clerk, Dana DeBeau­voir, with a crime over a dispute with a poll watcher. It concludes, “I’m running to protect our demo­cracy and our local elec­tions from Paxton, Abbott, and Trump.” A Febru­ary tweet by Limon-Mercado calls on voters to “protect our elec­tions from GOP meddling.”