New Hampshire GOP Senate nominee Don Bolduc was introduced at the event by former self-proclaimed Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.
New Hampshire Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc held a campaign event on Saturday at a church whose senior pastor has pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, although he has disavowed his own previous claims that President Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of that election.
Bolduc, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November, held the "town hall" event at the Grace Ministries International Church in Brentwood, New Hampshire, where he was joined by former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and, as videos posted by an attendee appear to show, by the church's senior pastor, Allen W. Cook.
Cook has made his views on key political issues clear, delivering a January 2021 sermon in which he called abortion a "scourge on our nation" and joining the religious right group Cornerstone Action in May 2019 to lobby members of Congress against abortion rights and LGBTQ equality.
Bolduc has a long record of opposing abortion rights, including telling the Dover, New Hampshire, Republican Committee in December that he is "unapologetically pro-life" and "not gonna vote contrary to pro-life. I respect life from the beginning to the end."
Since winning his party's Senate nomination, Bolduc has said he opposes a federal abortion ban.
He told the audience at an event in Auburn, New Hampshire, on Oct. 5 that making decisions on abortion "belongs to the state. It belongs to these gentlemen right here, who are state legislators representing you," gesturing at state legislators in the room. "That is the best way I think, as a man, that women get the best voice. At the state level, not at the federal level."
Bolduc spokesperson Kate Constantini told the American Independent Foundation, in response to an inquiry, "Go bark up someone else's tree."
Cook did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.
The pastor has used social media to spread false claims about the 2020 election and the subsequent attack on the Capitol by rioters on Jan. 6, 2021.
In January 2021, Cook shared at least three separate Facebook posts from right-wing sources falsely suggesting former President Donald Trump, rather than Biden, was the real winner of the 2020 election.
After the Capitol insurrection, he also posted false claims that it was actually a "staged psyop" and that the attackers were not Trump backers but "busloads of Antifa" who had been "brought in to DC to disrupt the peaceful demonstrations."
Bolduc, who also has a long record of making false claims about the 2020 election intended to cast doubt on Biden's legitimacy, announced two days after winning his primary that he now believes Trump lost.
Since that time he has waffled back and forth on whether or not the election was stolen.
Cook's church has a record of pushing the idea of a country founded on "Biblical values." Already this year it has promoted and hosted events with GOP candidates for the right-wing Government Integrity Project.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.