Nevada secretary of state hopeful wants to influence elections 'like President Trump said'


Nevada Republican Jim Marchant is leading a coalition of Trump-backed secretary of state candidates to oversee elections in key 2024 swing states.

A Nevada candidate jockeying to run the state's elections is pledging to help overturn the 2020 election results, all while promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory that George Soros and his "cabal" are to blame for election losses.

Jim Marchant is an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2020. He is now running to be secretary of state in Nevada where President Joe Biden defeated Trump by more than 33,000 votes in 2020.

In a recent interview, Marchant promoted a baseless conspiracy theory claiming that Democrats, including former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and billionaire megadonor George Soros, hatched a scheme almost 20 years ago to elect progressive secretaries of state as part of an effort to undermine U.S. elections.

"In 2004, the Democrats — specifically George Soros, Harry Reid, and others of their ilk — hatched a plan, called the Secretaries of State project, and it was designed to get progressive liberal secretaries of states elected in all the key swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and they succeeded," Marchant told right-wing radio host Eddie Floyd in a Jan. 19 interview.

"And the election of 2020 is a direct result of that plan," he added. "That's why George Soros, Harry Reid, and the cabal — they understood how important the secretary of state races were."

Soros is a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Holocaust and emigrated to America in 1956. Reid, who died in December, married his wife, Landra Gould, in 1959. While Reid himself was Mormon, he upheld his wife's family's Jewish faith while raising their five children for more than 60 years.

Antisemites have long used the word "cabal" as a dog-whistle to refer to a small, secretive, powerful group of Jews who they claim act as puppet-masters behind the scenes of global affairs. Antisemitic conspiracy theories often invoke Soros as proof of outsize Jewish influence.

Marchant, a former member of the Nevada Assembly, is the sole Republican candidate for secretary of state. He's already racked up endorsements from Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Adam Laxalt, Nevada's former attorney general, who is now running for Senate, endorsed Marchant last week.

If elected as Nevada's top elections official, Marchant said he would get rid of the state's voting machines entirely and would do away with early voting and mail-in voting while installing "our people" to oversee polling locations on Election Day.

Marchant ran for Congress in 2020 and lost his bid by more than 16,000 votes. Still, he challenged the results, claiming election fraud, despite lacking any material evidence. A judge threw out the case.

In a Jan. 4 interview with former Trump campaign chief and strategist Steve Bannon, Marchant called himself part of "a coalition of America First secretary of state candidates" who are working "behind the scenes to try to fix 2020 like President Trump said."

Marchant added that Trump loyalists like himself are running to be top elections officials in Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona, all of which will likely be crucial battleground states in the 2024 presidential election.

Kristina Karamo, a Republican running to be Michigan's next secretary of state with Trump's backing, has falsely claimed antifascist protesters were behind the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, flipping it from red to blue after Trump won the state in 2016.

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) intends to primary Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump tried to intimidate with his call to "find 11,780" votes last January.

And Mark Finchem, an Arizona state lawmaker who stood near the Capitol as insurrectionists smashed windows on Jan. 6, is running to be Arizona's next secretary of state.

These candidates, who all have ties to the fringe conspiracy theory movement QAnon, including Marchant, are running to promote the "big lie," a baseless conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, even though Biden won the race by 7 million votes.

Marchant isn't the only Nevada Republican looking to wield influence over the 2024 election. At the top of the state ticket, two gubernatorial candidates have staked their candidacies on the big lie too.

Former Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller said he told Trump, "The only way we can guarantee that, in 2024, we have a Republican president is we need a leader here in the state of Nevada that understands our election laws and [is] willing to change them."

And one of his opponents, Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore, called the 2020 presidential election "perhaps the most poorly administered election in American history." In an ad that went viral, she used a gun holstered to her hip to shatter a beer bottle labeled "Voter Fraud."

Currently, pollsters view the Nevada gubernatorial race as a toss-up, with Heller seen as a Republican front-runner in the primary.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.