Your Guide to All 35 States Deciding Their Next Secretary of State
Trump-aligned election deniers running for chief election posts could sow chaos, while other candidates push for expanding voting access.
Daniel Nichanian, Camille Squires, | September 29, 2022
In the weeks after his loss in the 2020 election, Donald Trump called the Georgia secretary of state and badgered him to “find” him more votes. Less than two years later, Trump’s infamous plea has morphed into a platform for a slate of Republican secretary of state candidates, who are vowing to bend and break the rules to influence future elections.
If they win in November, Trump-endorsed election deniers like Arizona’s Mark Finchem and Michigan’s Kristina Kamaro could seize the reins of election administration in key swing states on agendas built on disproven fraud claims and destabilizing changes like eliminating mail-in voting. But these high-profile candidates are just the tip of the iceberg: 17 Republicans are running for secretary of state—or for governor in states where the governor appoints the secretary—after denying the results of the 2020 election, seeking to overturn them, or refusing to affirm the outcome. A handful of additional Republicans haven’t outright questioned Biden’s win but have still amplified Trump’s false statements about widespread fraud.
Trump’s Big Lie, then, is defining the political stakes in most of the 35 states where the secretary of state’s office is on the line, directly or indirectly, in November.
But beyond the threats of election subversion, secretaries of state affect voting rights in many more subtle ways. Long before Trump, they already featured heated debates around how states run their elections—and how easy or difficult it is for people to register and cast ballots. Secretaries of state may decide the scope of voter roll purges, instruct counties on how many ballot drop boxes to set up, or implement major policies like automatic voter registration. And their word carries great clout in legislative debates over voting. The Big Lie is overshadowing those functions, but in many places these broader issues remain at the forefront.
This new Bolts guide walks through all of those 35 states, plus Washington, D.C., one by one. Voters are electing their secretary of state directly in 27 states; in another eight, the secretary of state will be selected after the election by public officials—the governor, or lawmakers—who are on the Nov. 8 ballot. (The 15 other states and Puerto Rico will either select theirs after the 2024 cycle or, in a few cases, don’t have a secretary of state at all.)
The stakes are highest in the presidential swing states that election deniers may capture, namely Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania (via the governor’s race). But many other states feature such candidates, from Alabama to Maryland; in Wyoming, a Trump-endorsed election denier is the only candidate on the ballot.
And other pressing voting concerns are also shaping these battles. In Ohio, for instance, voting rights groups have repeatedly clashed with the sitting secretary of state on voting access in jails or the availability of ballot drop boxes. In Georgia, the midterms are unfolding in the shadow of new restrictions adopted last year, with the incumbent’s support. In Vermont, the likely next secretary of state says she wants to support local experiments to expand voter eligibility.
Not all secretaries of state handle election administration; in a few states such as Illinois and South Carolina, they have nothing at all to do with it. Even where secretaries of state oversee some aspects of the election system, the scope of their role can vary greatly. Arizona’s secretary of state, for instance, must certify election results; Michigan’s secretary, by contrast, plays no role in the certification process (that role is reserved to a board of canvassers) but does oversee and guide municipal officials on how to run their elections.
To clarify this confusing landscape, Bolts published two databases this year. The first details, state by state, which state offices prepare and administer an election (Who Runs our Elections?). The second details, state by state, which state offices handle the counting, canvassing, and certification stages (Who Counts Our Elections?).
Explore our state breakdown of the 2022 midterms below, or click on a specific state in this interactive map.
Secretaries of State in 2022
For further reading, also dive into Louis Jacobson’s electoral assessment of all secretary of state races, and the FiveThirtyEight analysis of how each state’s Republican nominee is responding to questions about the 2020 elections. And you can
Wes Allen, a Republican lawmaker who won a tight summer primary for secretary of state, has already shown his conspiracist leanings: He said earlier this year that, as secretary of state, he would promptly withdraw Alabama from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a organization that helps 30 states maintain voter rolls, citing George Soros to explain his decision shortly after a far-right website published an article that falsely tied ERIC to Soros.
Allen faces Democratic nominee Pamela Laffitte in November. In this ruby red state, he is likely to win and replace John Merrill, the retiring Republican; Merrill is known for blocking people who criticize his handling of voting rights on social media and for denying the state’s history of voter suppression.
Mark Finchem is arguably the election denier with the best chance to win and take over a swing state’s election system. A member of the far-right Oath Keeper militia, which was involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, Finchem falsely claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent, has pushed for controversial election audits, and wants to see sweeping changes to Arizona’s election system, including ending early voting and ending the use of electronic voting machines. If he wins, he would oversee the 2024 election, including being in charge of certifying the next presidential results. His intentions would be in question given his continued statements about 2020. He introduced legislation earlier this year to decertify the last election and “set aside” the ballots in three counties, including Maricopa and Pima counties, which together cover two-thirds of the state, as “irredeemably compromised”—a position he repeated in a debate last week.
“When we have conspiracy theories and lies like the ones Mr. Finchem has just shared, based in no real evidence, what we end up doing is eroding the faith that we have in each other as citizens,” responded Adrian Fontes, the Democratic nominee, during the debate. Fontes ran elections in Arizona’s most populous county as Maricopa County Recorder during the early stages of the pandemic; in March 2020, he tried to mail ballots to registered voters during the presidential primary, though his effort was ultimately struck down by courts, and Finchem has criticized him for it. Fontes has also been supportive of expanding voting opportunities through reforms like automatic voter registration.
Republican incumbent John Thurston says elections are secure in Arkansas, but he also echoes those who sow doubts about how the 2020 election unfolded across the country, and his staff attended a conspiracist symposium hosted by Mike Lindell at state expense. In this staunch red state where Democrats have not won any statewide race since 2010, Thurston faces Democrat Anna Beth Gorman in November.
When U.S. Senator Kamala Harris became vice president in 2021, it sparked a game of musical chairs in California politics. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Harris, and then appointed Shirley Weber to replace Padilla as secretary of state. A former Democratic lawmaker who championed civil rights legislation, such as a landmark law in 2020 to fight racism in juries, Weber is now seeking a full term. She crushed the all-party primary in June with 59 percent of the vote; Republican Rob Bernosky, who she will now face again in November’s Top 2 runoff, received 19 percent. (Two candidates who, unlike Bernosky, ran as election deniers won a combined 13 percent.)
Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, has clashed since 2020 with Tina Peters, the Trump-aligned Republican county clerk who is now under indictment for allegedly allowing unauthorized access to voting equipment. The two seemed headed for a showdown in 2022 , but Peters lost the Republican primary in June to Pam Anderson, a former county clerk who, unlike Peters, accepts the results of the 2020 election. (Other election deniers also lost Republican primaries in Colorado at the county level in the primary, Bolts reported.)
Griswold has still centered her campaign on the threat of election subversion, pointing to her efforts against Peters but also speaking out against election deniers in the national press. “The country could lose the right to vote,” she told The Guardian in August. Anderson, who is a career election administrator, says she would bring a “professional ethic” into the office, and is making the case that Griswold is too focused on advancing her party’s goals. Anderson also supports the major features of Colorado’s system, notably universal mail-in voting.
Stephanie Thomas, a Democratic lawmaker, faces Republican Dominic Rapini in an open contest. Rapini is the former board chair of an organization that promoted conspiracies about the 2020 presidential election, and he himself has raised doubts and false claims of fraud about the legitimate outcome of the race. While Thomas is favored in this blue-leaning state, observers stress that the rhetoric about voter fraud and election denialism can erode public confidence in voting systems even if Rapini loses. In addition, the two candidates disagree on rules around voter ID, which Rapini wants to tighten, and early voting. The state is holding a referendum in November on authorizing in-person early voting, an issue that Thomas supports and Rapini opposes.
Florida (via the governor’s race)
The power to appoint the secretary of state lies with the governor in Florida. Earlier this year, DeSantis—who has a penchant for filing government offices with his allies—appointed Cord Byrd, a staunch conservative who had championed the state’s recent voter restrictions while in the legislature. Byrd has refused to say whether he believes the 2020 election results were legitimate, and he has amplified false rhetoric about widespread fraud. The state’s new elections police force resides in the secretary of state’s office, and Byrd was involved in August in trumpeting the criminal charges against 20 people who had been previously allowed to vote for alleged voting law violations.
DeSantis is up for reelection against Democrat Charlie Crist, who was the state’s Republican governor more than a decade ago and had a very different approach to voting. Crist would have the authority to replace Byrd should he win.
Incumbent Brad Raffensperger famously rebuffed Trump’s attempts to “find” more votes in the 2020 election, and proceeded to defeat a Trump-endorsed election denier in the Republican primary with surprising ease. But Raffensperger has also supported the new voter restrictions that Republicans have adopted since 2020, including tightening procedures around mail-in and early voting, and banning groups from passing out food or water to voters waiting in line. He defended the measures in 2021 as a way to “restore voter confidence.”
Raffensperger faces Democratic nominee Bee Nguyen, a state representative who voted against the 2021 law, has criticized this record and is running on a platform of improving ballot access in Georgia with voter outreach efforts such as translating election materials into more languages and establishing sites for people to submit vote-by-mail applications.
Phil McGrane, the county clerk of Ada County, narrowly defeated two conspiracy theorists in the Republican primary for secretary of state in May. In a state as conservative as Idaho, that was the hard part; he is now favored in November over Democrat Shawn Keenan. On the one hand, this primary marked a defeat for fervent election deniers, who attacked McGrane for accepting grants from a private foundation—as did more than a dozen other counties in Idaho alone—to help run the 2020 election.
Yet, when asked by Bolts if he agreed that Biden was the legitimate president, McGrane demurred, only saying that Biden was in the White House. He has spoken against Democratic proposals to strengthen voting rights. As county clerk, McGrane has also taken initiatives to make voting more accessible, such as setting up “food truck voting,” i.e. mobile voting centers, and setting up on-demand ballot printers, Bolts reported.
This secretary of state’s office is not involved in election administration. (Alexi Giannoulias, the last Democrat to lose a U.S. Senate race in Illinois, faces Republican lawmaker Dan Brady. Incumbent Jesse White is retiring after 24 years leading an office that handles driver’s licenses and state records.)
Diego Morales rode the Big Lie to oust the incumbent secretary of state, Holli Sullivan, at the Republican Party’s state convention; he echoed Trump’s claims about fraud in the 2020 election, which he called a “scam.” He has since softened those statements, including calling Biden the legitimate president, and has walked back his previous call to cut Indiana’s number of early voting days by half. Still, he has courted controversy, as the Indianapolis Star reported in July that he used campaign funds to buy a personal vehicle. Morales also twice left jobs at the secretary of state’s office over poor performance.
Democrats see an opening to win a rare statewide office in this reliably red state, and Democrat Destiny Wells is hitting Morales for his ties with the far-right and for wanting to limit voting options like mail-in ballots.
Iowa Republicans have tightened access to voting in recent years with a pair of measures that restrict mail voting, among other policies. Democratic nominee Joel Miller, who currently serves as an elections official in the state’s second most populous county, said in an interview with Bolts that he is running because he opposes those reforms and wants to “make voting easy again” in Iowa. He faults his opponent, Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate, for failing to oppose these voting restrictions. Pate is running for a third term, and the state has veered significantly to the right since his first election.
The Big Lie split the Republican primary, with Secretary of State Scott Schwab pushing back against the former president’s conspiracies while his challenger embraced them. Schwab survived by 10 percentage points and now faces Democrat Jeanna Repass, who notes that Schwab has still supported restrictions on ballot access that she vows to fight. In this staunch red state, Democrats have not won an election for secretary of state since 1948.
Maine (via legislature)
The Big Lie is in the air in Maine. Paul LePage, the former Republican governor who is running to regain his job back, has trumpeted unfounded suspicions of voter fraud and suggested that people were bused in from out of state to vote in Maine—conspiracist claims very similar to Trump’s. Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has pushed back, faulting him for wanting it to be harder for people to be “exercising their constitutional right to vote.”
Whether Bellows keeps her job depends on the legislative races in November. A joint session of the legislature selects the secretary of state every two years. Although the GOP has not put a Republican in this office since it briefly seized both chambers in 2010, it has an outside shot at flipping the legislature and thus the secretary of state’s office this fall.
Maryland (via the governor’s race)
Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor, is a staunch election denier who helped organize travel to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. If he wins the governorship, he would get to appoint a secretary of state. (Many election administration duties in Maryland are in the hands of a board of elections; but the secretary of state does sit on the board of canvassers, the body that is tasked with certifying election results.) That said, the state Senate must confirm a governor’s nominee in Maryland, and that chamber is highly likely to stay in Democratic hands. In addition, Democrat Wes Moore is heavily favored in polling and prognostications to beat Cox and to get to appoint a secretary of state himself.
In his quest for a record eighth term, Secretary of State Bill Galvin has already completed the hardest step by prevailing in the contentious Democratic primary against a local NAACP leader who faulted him for not promoting ballot access proactively enough, as Bolts reported. In this blue state, the party’s nomination is typically tantamount to a general election win.
Still, the profile of his Republican opponent keeps this on Bolts’s list of elections to watch. Rayla Campbell has closely aligned with Trump and has repeated his lies that the election was stolen.
If Galvin prevails, keep an eye on how he shifts over his next term. After facing a progressive challenger in the 2018 primary and easily beating him, Galvin grew more supportive of pro-voter reforms such as same-day registration.
Republican nominee Kristina Karamo, an avowed election denier endorsed by Trump, would lead Michigan’s loose constellation of more than 1,600 local election offices if she wins the secretary of state race. As Bolts reported, Michigan has one of the most decentralized voting systems in the country, but the secretary of state would still have the authority to issue directives and conduct audits of local offices—functions that Karamo could weaponize for her election denialist agenda if elected. Republicans have aggressively targeted election officials who resisted their effort to overturn the 2020 election in the state, and observers worry about how Karamo could further unwind the system. “It’s one thing to be feeling that heat from the outside,” David Levine, a fellow at the non-profit Alliance for Securing Democracy, told Bolts. “If the arsonist is inside the firehouse you’ve got a whole different problem.”
Karamo is trying to oust Democratic incumbent Jocelyn Benson, who oversaw the 2020 election and has defended the administration of that election—including an expansion of absentee voting—against critics.
Kim Crockett, the Republican nominee, has mirrored Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. At a party convention, she aired a conspiracist video that used anti-Semitic tropes, which led to an apology by the state Republican Party’s chair. If she wins in November against Democratic incumbent Steve Simon, she would gain the power to oversee the state’s election system, which could affect the voting rights of Minnesota’s numerous immigrant communities. As the Sahan Journal previewed, Crockett has a history of making racist and anti-immigrant statements and wants to tighten voter ID restrictions, saying that non-English speaking immigrants have been “exploited for their votes.” Simon, meanwhile, wants to expand language access for voting materials.
Secretary of State Robert Evnen, a Republican, is running unopposed in the general election, but his primary was far more contentious. Evnen secured the GOP nomination in May with just 45 percent of the vote against two candidates who each suggested that elections have security issues and proposed restricting voting procedures; Evnen has rejected fraud allegations, and defended the state’s use of voting machines. But Evnen is also hoping that the state adopts new voter ID requirements, which Nebraskans will be voting on in a ballot measure in November.
Republican Jim Marchant is a lead organizer of the America First slate of secretaries of state candidates, the Trump-aligned coalition who are denying the results of the 2020 elections and laying the groundwork to intervene in 2024. Marchant is vocal about his false beliefs that the 2020 election results were illegitimate, claiming both that the presidency was stolen from Trump and that his own loss in a congressional race was due to fraud. Marchant supported the push for Nevada Republicans to send a slate of false electors to Congress in 2020, and he told The Guardian that he would be open to doing the same in 2024. “We haven’t in Nevada elected anybody since 2006,” Marchant said in January on a podcast. “They have been installed by the deep state cabal.”
The Republican nominee also wants to end mail-in voting in the state, despite having repeatedly voted by mail in the past.
Marchant will face Democrat Cisco Aguilar, who has portrayed himself as the sensible alternative to Marchant and his outlandish claims. Aguilar has promised to introduce policy to protect Nevada election workers against “constant harassment” they face at polling places.
New Hampshire (via legislature)
The New Hampshire legislature selects the secretary of state every two years. But despite constant flips in legislative control, lawmakers repeatedly sent Bill Gardner back to the office. Gardner, who served from 1976 until his retirement earlier this year, was a nominal Democrat who defended Republican restrictions in defiance of courts, sat on Trump’s commission to investigate voter fraud, and opposed innovations like online voter registration. His resignation in January elevated his Republican deputy, David Scanlan, to the job. Republicans are slight favorites to keep the legislature in November, though both chambers are in play.
Republican nominee Audrey Trujillo has built her campaign for secretary of state on the Big Lie. As a member of the America First Secretary of State Coalition alongside Nevada’s Marchant and Michigan’s Karamo, Trujillo has also called for an end to absentee voting except for elderly, disabled, and military citizens. She has also pointed to voting machines as sources of fraud, calling on county election officials to refuse to certify the 2020 election unless a hand count was conducted, adding to the explosive context of ongoing confrontations over conservative efforts in New Mexico to block the certification of elections.
Trujillo is running against Democratic incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who has been a vocal proponent of expanding ballot access in the state. In the current legislative session, as Bolts reported in February, Oliver rolled out a landmark package that would have expanded voter eligibility, made Election Day a holiday, and eased mail-in voting, but the package derailed in the legislature.
New York (via the governor’s race)
This secretary of state is appointed by the governor, and does not oversee election administration. (The current office-holder is an appointee of Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who is facing Republican Lee Zeldin, a member of the U.S. House who voted against approving the 2020 presidential result in Congress; the governor also appoints members of the State Board of Canvassers, who certify results, upon consultation with legislative leaders.)
The Republican primary was critical in this red-state open race, and it saw an easy victory by lawmaker Michael Howe over a candidate who was falsely saying the 2020 presidential result was uncertain. But Howe himself is suggesting that there are problems regarding election integrity in the state, while Democratic candidate Jeffrey Powell says the GOP’s talk of “election integrity” is “code word for voter suppression.” The office of the retiring secretary of state faced complaints and settled lawsuits over poor ballot access for Native residents.
Former GOP lawmaker John Adams ran for secretary of state by touting the Big Lie, only to be soundly defeated by Republican incumbent Frank LaRose. But LaRose’s victory was hardly a last stand by moderate forces. He has long clashed with voting rights groups over restrictions to ballot access. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, Bolts reported in March, LaRose sided with Trump’s crusade against mail-in voting and he successfully appealed to overturn a court ruling that would have made it easier for eligible Ohioans to vote from jail.
Since then, LaRose has ramped up talk of voter fraud, secured Trump’s endorsement in his re-election bid, and floated impeaching the state’s Republican chief justice for striking down his party’s gerrymanders.
LaRose now faces Democrat Chelsea Clark, a Forest Park city councilmember, in a state that has swung red over the past decade. Clark says she would push for reforms to expand participation like automatic voter registration and reverse the state’s aggressive purge policies.
Oklahoma (via the governor’s race)
This secretary of state’s office does not oversee election administration. (The winner of the governor’s race, which features Republican incumbent Kevin Stitt, Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister, and two other candidates, will have the power to appoint a secretary of state, who will oversee clerical functions like corporation registrations. The current office-holder is a Stitt appointee.)
Pennsylvania (via the governor’s race)
Doug Mastriano, the Trump acolyte who participated in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and was outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, would have the power to appoint the next secretary of state if he wins the governor’s race in November over Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro. Mastriano has repeatedly signaled he would appoint a secretary of state who shares his mindset and, as Bolts reported in July, the secretary of state could unleash chaos into the state’s system, with election observers worried primarily about the process of certifying results. A secretary of state hand-picked by Mastriano could abuse their power in 2024 by trying to refuse election results from blue-leaning counties like Allegheny (Pittsburgh) or Philadelphia. “It would be uncertain and destabilizing,” Rick Hasen, a professor at UCLA Law who specializes in election law, told Bolts.
The incumbent secretary of state’s failed bid for governor opened up her office, and Democratic nominee Gregg Amore is favored to take her place in this blue-leaning state. He is a former state representative who advocated for expanding ballot access, including through sponsoring the Let Rhode Island Vote Act, which expanded mail voting and went into effect earlier this year. Amore now faces Republican Pat Cortellessa, who opposes the legislation, telling the Warwick Beacon that it endangers election security and goes too far in enabling people to vote by mail. Cortellessa also wants ballot drop boxes removed from street corners.
This secretary of state’s office does not oversee election administration. (Republican incumbent Mark Hammond faces Democrat Rosemounda “Peggy” Butler.)
Monae Johnson’s conspiracist allegations that the state’s election system lacks integrity helped her oust Republican incumbent Steve Barnett at a party convention earlier this year. That alone makes her the favorite to become this red state’s next secretary of state. Still, Johnson has tried to erase some of her past rhetoric from her website since securing the party’s nomination, and Democratic nominee Tom Cool is attacking Republicans for threatening South Dakota’s voting systems. “They keep whining about election integrity, which we know are their code words for voter suppression,” Cool said in July. (Note that one of the roles of the secretary of state’s office in South Dakota is to oversee the ballot petition process, which has been targeted by state Republicans, as Bolts reported in June.)
Texas (via the governor’s race)
Republican Governor Greg Abbott faces Democratic nominee and one-time U.S. Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke, and the winner of this governor’s contest will have the power to appoint a secretary of state. Last year, Abbott picked John Scott, a lawyer who worked with the Trump campaign on a lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania. As secretary of state, Scott has defended the security of Texas’ elections against local activists who oppose the use of voting machines. O’Rourke has made it a core campaign plank to fault Abbott for championing many voter restrictions, and has pledged to ease the voter registration process and limit voter purges, some of which is handled by the secretary of state’s office. A governor’s appointee is subject to confirmation by the state Senate, which is likely to stay in Republican hands.
By U.S. standards, Vermont is pushing the boundaries of democratic participation. The state adopted universal vote-by-mail, and some towns are now looking to allow noncitizens and 16- and 17-year olds to vote in local elections. Vermont is only one of the few places in the country that allow anyone to vote from prison. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, a state lawmaker and the Democratic nominee to take over the state’s open secretary of state office, supports these policies. She tells Bolts that, if elected, she would look for new ways to expand both ballot access and voter registration—including for incarcerated people.
Copeland Hanzas’s Republican opponent in this blue-leaning state is H. Brooke Paige, a perennial candidate who is part of the large network of GOP election deniers running for secretary of state as he echoes the former president’s lies about the 2020 election.
Republicans have won every secretary of state election in Washington State since 1964—that’s 15 consecutive elections. But they won’t even have a candidate on the ballot this November, as the GOP was shut out of the Top 2 spots in the August all-candidate primary.
The two candidates who moved on to the runoff are Steve Hobbs, the Democratic incumbent appointed by Governor Jay Inslee in 2021 after Republican Kim Wyman resigned to take a job in the Biden administration, and Julie Anderson, the Pierce County clerk who is running as an independent. (A Republican lawmaker, Brad Klippert, is also mounting a write-in campaign.) Before becoming secretary of state, Hobbs was a moderate lawmaker who antagonized progressives in the legislature and fought some of Inslee’s priorities, a record that Inslee touted as a sign that Hobbs would be an antidote to “political polarization.” Still, Anderson is grounding her bid on the argument that a secretary of state should be nonpartisan; she also makes the case that she, unlike Hobbs, has worked in election administration for more than a decade.
This secretary of state is appointed by the mayor, and is not involved in election administration. (Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is running for re-election, and she is heavily favored.)
This secretary of state’s office is not involved in election administration in Wisconsin, but GOP nominee Amy Loundenbeck wants it to regain oversight over elections from the State Elections Commissions, a bipartisan agency besieged by conservative attacks since 2020. The Associated Press reports she is remaining vague about the specifics, though some GOP lawmakers have already introduced legislation to this effect. (The party would need to flip the governorship for such a bill shift to stand a chance.) Loudenbeck has said she does not believe the 2020 election results should be overturned but has echoed conspiracies about election funding, and faces Democratic incumbent Doug LaFolette, who is seeking an eleventh term.
Chuck Gray is the only candidate running for secretary of state, making him the only election denier who is already virtually guaranteed to win in November
Boosted by Trump’s endorsement, Gray prevailed in a competitive GOP primary over fellow lawmaker Tara Nethercott in August, and no Democrat or independent filed to run against him in November. And while Wyoming may be the least populous state in the union, his primary opponent warns to not disregard the effects that Gray’s rhetoric may have. “What happens here is certainly an example to the rest of the nation for where the country is going, and how we get caught up in perceived fears that aren’t relevant to our own communities,” Nethercott told Bolts in August. “That kind of rhetoric just continues to serve to undermine the integrity of our elections, and therefore undermines democracy.”
What about the remaining states?
Three states have no secretary of state at all (Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah). Three will elect their secretary of state in 2023 (Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi). Five will elect their secretary of state in 2024 (Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia). Two will elect governors or lawmakers in 2024 who will then select a secretary of state (Delaware and Tennessee, as well as Puerto Rico). And two will elect governors in 2025 who could then select a secretary of state (New Jersey and Virginia).
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