How did candidates who questioned, denied 2020 outcome fare in Tuesday's elections?

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Hundreds of candidates who openly questioned or denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election outcome ran for office in elections across the country Tuesday.

They included candidates who ran in states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – allegedly targeted by a scheme to send fake electors to Congress for the purpose of falsely handing former President Donald Trump the 2020 presidential election.

Many of the candidates who openly questioned the 2020 election outcome repeated false claims that the election was fraudulent or stolen.

After Tuesday, some will remain in office, others won't, while more await the outcome of their races.

Midterms: Hundreds of elections deniers running for office nationwide in 2022 pose 'major threat' to U.S. democracy

Details: See what election-denying candidates in swing states have said and done

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Here's how candidates who denied or questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election fared in the midterm elections:


Blake Masters – Arizona U.S. Senate seat: Outcome pending

Senate candidate Blake Masters ran against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly. Masters described Trump’s loss as a stolen election during a July 2021 radio interview. He has called the election “unfair” and his campaign website read, “the 2020 election was a rotten mess — if we had had a free and fair election, President Trump would be sitting in the Oval Office today and America would be so much better off.” Masters later backpedaled, saying, “I don’t actually know if there was fraud in Arizona” and he was “not sure” if the election was stolen.

Herschel Walker – Georgia U.S. Senate seat: Outcome pending

Former professional football player Herschel Walker campaigned against Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock. In the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, Walker wrote multiple tweets questioning the election results. On the day a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, Walker tweeted: "Trojan Horses ...I call on ⁦@realDonaldTrump to find out who these people are as they do not look like MAGA! You have the power right now to see who they really are and to get to the bottom of who stole this election! Prosecute these bad players." In an October debate with his opponent, Walker told the moderator that Biden won the election.

Adam Laxalt – Nevada U.S. Senate seat: Outcome pending

Former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt challenged incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the Nevada U.S. Senate race. Laxalt said on the campaign trail in February, “We know the Democrats changed our election." He co-chaired Trump’s Nevada campaign, which filed lawsuits in state and federal courts questioning the integrity of the state's general election.

JD Vance – Ohio U.S. Senate seat: Won

Political newcomer and "Hillbilly Elegy" author JD Vance won his race against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan. Vance has said that there were problems in 2020. "I think the election was stolen from Trump," he said during a debate. He later added: "If we want to get to the bottom of what happened in 2020, we need to be able to speak about what actually happened and how we're going to get to the bottom of it."

U.S. House

Paul Gosar – Arizona U.S. House seat: Won

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar won the House seat in the race to represent Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. Gosar voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results, objecting to certifying electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania. In an exclusive video obtained by the Arizona Republic, Gosar referred to himself as "the one who started the revolution,” connecting himself to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

Marjorie Taylor Greene – Georgia U.S. House seat: Won

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene won a second term in the U.S. House against Democrat Marcus Flowers. In December 2020, Greene said in a Newsmax interview that journalists "refuse to cover anything about the stolen election, and the evidence is there. It's real." She helped organize teams of House members who would later object to certifying the 2020 election results.

Kevin McCarthy – California U.S. House seat: Won

The House top Republican, Kevin McCarthy, will keep the House seat in the race against Democratic challenger Marisa Wood. As House minority leader, McCarthy was one of more than 100 House members who signed onto an amicus brief in the case Texas v. Pennsylvania that challenged the results of the 2020 election. McCarthy is poised to become speaker of the House if the Republicans retake the chamber.

Lauren Boebert – Colorado U.S. House seat: Outcome pending

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert ran against Democratic challenger Adam Frisch in a race that remains too close to call.

Boebert objected to certifying results in Arizona and Pennsylvania during the 2020 presidential election. “There is no way that anyone can call the 2020 presidential election fair. We have to make this right,” she tweeted on Nov. 29, 2020.

Matt Gaetz – Florida U.S. House seat: Won

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida won a third term in the House by defeating Democrat Rebekah Jones.

Gaetz voted to support objections for both contested states. He has been a strong supporter of Trump and tweeted in December 2020 he will join fellow GOP lawmakers to "OBJECT to electors from states that didn't run clean elections."

Elise Stefanik – New York U.S. House seat: Won

Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican, won her reelection campaign against Democrat Matt Castelli. Stefanik voted against certification of the 2020 election, and later signed onto an amicus brief in the case Texas v. Pennsylvania that challenged the results of the 2020 election. Before her vote on the House floor on Jan. 6, 2021, Stefanik said: "Tens of millions of Americans are concerned that the 2020 election featured unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws." She is the third-highest ranking Republican in the House and replaced Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who lost her reelection.

Mike Kelly – Pennsylvania U.S. House seat: Won

Rep. Mike Kelly defeated Democratic challenger Dan Pastore to win a seventh term in the House. Kelly voted to support objections for both Pennsylvania and Arizona when certifying the results for the 2020 election. He was one of eight representatives to oppose the popular vote in Pennsylvania and did not certify the commonwealth's electors, saying in a joint statement they "cannot agree to support electors chosen based upon an inaccurate total vote count. The voters of Pennsylvania deserve integrity in the election process and equal protection under the law."

Virginia Foxx – North Carolina U.S. House seat: Won

Incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican, fended off a challenge by Democrat Kyle Parrish. Foxx was one of more than 100 Republican House members who signed onto an amicus brief in the case Texas v. Pennsylvania that challenged the 2020 election results.

Beth Van Duyne – Texas U.S. House seat: Won

Rep. Beth Van Duyne, a Republican, won her reelection campaign against Democrat Jan McDowell. In December 2020, Van Duyne signed onto a letter with other House members requesting that House leadership look at "irregularities" in the election. She later voted against certifying the state results from Pennsylvania.

Harriet Hageman – Wyoming U.S. House seat: Won

After defeating Rep. Liz Cheney in the Republican primary in August, Harriet Hageman won the race against Democrat Lynette Grey Bull.

Hageman said the 2020 presidential election was “rigged" during a campaign stop, CNN reported.


Kari Lake – Arizona governor seat: Outcome pending

Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake campaigned against Democrat Katie Hobbs for the governor’s mansion. Lake said she would not have certified Biden’s win in Arizona and has referred to Biden as an “illegitimate president” in interviews. She also refused to answer whether she would honor the results of her election if she lost.

Tudor Dixon – Michigan governor race: Lost

GOP candidate Tudor Dixon lost in the Michigan gubernatorial race to Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Dixon said during a primary debate that Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Doug Mastriano – Pennsylvania governor seat: Lost

Republican Doug Mastriano lost the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race to Democrat Josh Shapiro.

Mastriano wrote a letter in December 2020 that included debunked voter fraud claims in Pennsylvania and helped charter buses to the "Stop the Steal" rally that took place before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Mastriano marched to the Capitol himself and demonstrated outside on Jan. 6.

Tim Michels – Wisconsin governor race: Lost

Tim Michels lost his race against Democratic incumbent Gov. Tony Evers. Michels said in a radio interview in May, "Certainly, there was a lot of bad stuff that happened. There was certainly illegal ballots. How many? I don't know if Gableman knows. I don't know if anybody knows." Michels was referencing a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who investigated the 2020 election and found no fraud. In July, Michels told a Wisconsin radio reporter that he would not rule out decertifying the results of the 2020 election in Wisconsin, adding: "No one knows what the extent of the election fraud was and that's the problem. The fact that you're asking me or anyone this question right now, is really the root of the issue here."

Secretary of State

Kristina Karamo – Michigan secretary of state race: Lost

Backed by Trump, Kristina Karamo lost the Michigan secretary of state race against Democratic incumbent Jocelyn Benson. Karamo said in 2021: “I saw illegal activity upon illegal activity. And I realized, if we don’t cure our election system, we no longer have a republic, we have a fake country, it’s an illusion, it’s a facade of a republic. So I have to do something."

Mark Finchem – Arizona secretary of state race: Outcome pending

Mark Finchem ran in the Arizona secretary of state race against Democrat Adrian Fontes. In July, Finchem said on Twitter that the results in three Arizona counties should be decertified and called for the arrest of Fontes, his opponent, and Katie Hobbs, the sitting secretary state and candidate for governor.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Election denier candidates: How did they do in midterm elections?