Far-right activist Laura Loomer and other GOP candidates who deny the legitimacy of the 2020 election are running in primaries in Florida and New York (plus a runoff in Oklahoma) this week.
Kaleigh Rogers: During a forum in Orlando last month, candidates hoping to represent Central Florida’s 7th and 9th congressional districts were asked if President Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.
Candidates: No. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. President Trump won, no.
Rogers: All but two of the Republican candidates at that forum said they did not believe Biden legitimately won in 2020. And that’s not even all of the election deniers in those races. One of the most high-profile GOP candidates for the 7th District, Cory Mills, wasn’t there. But he told the Orlando Sentinel he doesn’t consider Biden the legitimate president.
Throughout the primaries, FiveThirtyEight and ABC News have been tracking candidates who deny the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Here are some of the most prominent election deniers running in Florida, New York and Oklahoma this week.
In Florida’s 11th District, Rep. Daniel Webster is defending his seat. Webster was among a group of Republicans in Congress who voted not to certify some of the election results in 2020, but he’s being challenged by an even more fervent election denier: far-right activist Laura Loomer. Loomer – who has been banned from numerous online platforms for spreading misinformation and violating rules against hateful conduct – has repeatedly claimed former President Donald Trump won in 2020. At a recent campaign event, she draped herself in a flag that read: “Trump won. I know it. You know it.”
In New York’s 2nd District, Robert Cornicelli, a far-right Navy and Army vet, is challenging the incumbent, Rep. Andrew Garbarino. Cornicelli has called the election “stolen” and “rigged,” and has criticized Garbarino for voting in favor of the Jan. 6 committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol, an event influenced by Trump’s lies about a stolen election.
Finally, in Oklahoma, the Republican runoff for Senate will see two election deniers squaring off against one another: Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Both candidates have said they believe the election was stolen from Trump.
There’s just a few more primary elections left before the midterms, but with so many Republican nominees denying the legitimacy of the 2020 election, we’ll have lots more coverage on election-denying candidates in the weeks to come. So, follow along with FiveThirtyEight.
Kaleigh Rogers is FiveThirtyEight’s technology and politics reporter.