GOP’s 2022 Candidates Could Push the Party Even Further Into Extremism

Trump era saw a far right takeover of Republican Party. But the Big Lie as well as the fallout from last January’s Capitol riot could push the party even further. further into the extremist fringeAfter the 2022 midterms.

Republicans have long inched toward extremist positions on issues like immigration, women’s rights and gun rights but Donald Trump’s election helped mainstreamWhite nationalist, racist, and xenophobic forces. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, undoubtedly one of the most influential conservative political figures in recent times, has been increasingly cast as a Republican Independent Nationalist (RINO).“Republican in Name Only”) while the once-fringe House Freedom Caucus has grown massivelyto be a powerful force in Washington. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, former Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), fled the scene, while conspiracy theorists such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) became the faces for the new MAGA wing.

Though the majority of the House Republican caucus voted to back Trump’s Big Lie and tried to block the certification of President Biden’s victory after the deadly Capitol riot, Trump and his allies wasted no time in launching a revenge tour, with the explicit aim of purging lawmakers seen as insufficiently loyal, while his supporters in state legislatures around the country seek to make it easier to overturn the next election. Democrats face a difficult if not impossible task of keeping the House despite plummeting approval ratings, the next wave of Republican freshmen could be the scariest yet – and may pose a true threat to democracy as we know it.

Kari Lake — Arizona Governor

After failing to convince the Arizona Governor. Doug Ducey was unable to convince Trump to reverse his election loss. Trump is now backing a well-known conspiracy theorist. vowed she would not have certified Biden’s win, to replace Ducey. Lake, a longtime Arizona news anchor with no political experience, has even demanded that election officials “decertify” the election results, which is not legally possible. Lake, who is supported by election conspiracists Mike Lindell, Michael Flyn, and Capitol riot-linked Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), has called for Democratic Secretary Katie Hobbs, who is also running for gubernatorial candidacy this year, to be certified. imprisoned for unspecified election crimes. Trump has also praised Lake for opposing COVID restrictions, “cancel culture,” and “woke” school curriculums, all issues likely to dominate the next cycle of Republican primaries and beyond. Trump’s endorsement catapulted Lake atop the race, where she leads former Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., by more than a two-to-one margin.

Eric Greitens — Missouri Governor

Greitens was once a rising star and considered to be a potential presidential candidate. In 2018, Greitens resigned as Missouri governor after an affair with a woman. accused him of sexual assault and revenge porn. A St. Louis grand jury indicted him that year on felony invasion of privacy charges, and although prosecutors dropped the charges, a special committee in the Republican-led state legislature released a report in April 2018 deeming the woman’s allegations “credible.”In May 2018, Greitens was impeached by the legislature. He resigned in exchange for prosecutors dropping an unrelated felony charge for using a veterans’ charity email list for his campaign.

While such scandals used to end a political career, Greitens has rebranded his self as an anachronist. election conspiracist in the wake of Trump’s loss, calling for “audits” of the election results nationwide and “decertification” of the 2020 results, and is back for a Senate bid. Republicans worriedGreitens could be a threat to the race’s survival pleadedTrump should not endorse Greitens. However, Trump World seems to be backing the disgraced former governor with endorsements by Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Rudy Giuliani, a former Trump lawyer.

Greitens is only one of many Republican candidates accused of violence against womenThis list also includes the Trump-backed Georgia Senate candidate Herschel WalkerTrump-endorsed Ohio House candidate Max Miller, who was accused of assault by Trump’s former press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Joe Kent — Washington, 3rd Congressional District

Kent is running to unseat Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot, and is the most prominent candidate backed by the “Insurrection Caucus,” meaning Trump allies like Greene, Boebert, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The Washington PostLast week, it was reported by the group that they have little interest in direct battle against Democrats and instead aim to push House Republicans further left.

Kent explained to the PostHe wants to force the party’s vote on biden impeachment articles and a full congressional investigation into 2020 election. He has claimed that the election was stolen (without evidence). “A lot of it will be shaming Republicans,” he told the Post. “It’s put up or shut up,” he said.

Trump critics are especially alarmed at the rise of an extremist pro-Trump wing to power.

“We’re looking at a nihilistic Mad Max hellscape,” former Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who co-founded the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, told the Post. “It will be all about the show of 2024 to bring Donald Trump back into power. … They will impeach Biden, they will impeach Harris, they will kill everything.”

Mark Finchem — Arizona Secretary of State

While most attention will be focused on the prominent gubernatorial or congressional races, the 2022 list of secretary of states races may be the most significant. The election secretaries, who oversee elections and verify the results of elections, certified the results in all of the states Trump sought. The next time could be different.

Finchem, a state legislator who attended the “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the Capitol riot and spoke at a similar protest the previous day, has earned Trump’s endorsement — and has also espoused QAnon-linked conspiracy theoriesAnd been linkedExtremist groups.

A win by Finchem could be decisive in a state where the outcome was decided in 2020 by less than 12,000 voters. Trump is also backing Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., another election conspiracist, against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who pushed back on Trump’s attempts to overturn his loss. The ex-president also supported him Kristina Karamo, an election conspiracist hoping to challenge Michigan Secretary Of State Jocelyn Benson.

Democrats worry that prominent election conspiracy theorists may soon be in control of the vote count. “That is ‘code red’ for democracy,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, chairwoman of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, told Reuters.

David Perdue — Georgia Governor

At the time of the COVID pandemic’s onset, it appeared that no governor was closer to Trump than Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. But Kemp’s refusal to help Trump try to block Biden’s win forever cost the governor Trump BFF status and put him squarely in the former president’s crosshairs. Trump has made it a point to back primary challenges to his perceived enemies, throwing his support behind former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga. — who lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a January 2021 runoff — even as the state’s Republican lawmakers pleaded for himHe refused to leave after being accused of costing the party both its Georgia U.S. Senate seat.

Perdue was out of the Senate on Jan. 6, but now says he would have voted to block Biden’s win. After landing Trump’s endorsement earlier this month, Perdue filed a dubious11 months after his defeat, he filed a lawsuit asking for an investigation into absentee ballots in his Senate race. It concerns vote-rigging allegations against Democratic election officials. He also said earlier this month that he would not have certified Biden’s victory if he had been governor.

Ron Watkins — Arizona, 1st Congressional District

Watkins has been a prominent QAnon conspirator for many years. Many believe he outed himself as the mythical “Q” in a recent HBO documentary. He was the former administrator for the far-right 8kun imageboard. He has been pushing nonsensical conspiracy theories that a cabal made up of liberal Satan-worshipping homosexual pedophiles is running a global sex-trafficking ring, and plotting to attack Trump. Earlier this year, he filed paperwork to run for Congress in Arizona — in a Phoenix-area seat now held by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, a Democrat — after moving back to the U.S. from the Philippines.

According to the watchdog group, Watkins is only one of 49 federal candidates who have publicly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory. Media Matters.

Adam Laxalt — Nevada, U.S. Senate

While many Republicans cheered Trump’s bogus voter fraud lawsuits from the sidelines, Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, filed multiple lawsuits contesting Biden’s victory in the state. Although all the challenges were rejected by court, Laxalt continued to fuel voter fraud conspiracy theories, leading the Las Vegas Sun editorial staff to label him the “The One” “Nevada version of Rudy Giuliani.”Laxalt is currently running for the Senate seat that Catherine Cortez Masto holds. vowed to file lawsuits to “tighten up the election” more than 14 months before a single vote is cast. Democrats in the state say Laxalt is using Trump’s “Big Lie playbook” for his campaign and seeking to “limit Nevadans’ voting rights and potentially overturn the election when he loses.”

Mellissa Carone — Michigan State House

Readers may be able to recall Carone’s name from her. bizarre testimonyMichigan lawmakers along with Giuliani in December and the subsequent mockery she received “Saturday Night Live.”Carone, an ex-IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems and who has continued to support debunked claims regarding election rigging in Michigan, is now running as a Republican for the Michigan state House. pushing white nationalist talking points about liberals seeking to “eliminate white people in America” with so-called critical race theory and transgender rights.

Carone is one among hundreds of pro-Trump zealots running for state legislative races in 2022. A trend that could have grave implications. This year, Republican-led state legislatures were pushed hundreds of voting restrictions?, undercutting COVID regulations, legislation barring the teaching of certain history in schoolCracking down on bills and e-billing LGBTQ rights.

J.D. Vance — Ohio, U.S. Senate

Vance, a long-time venture capitalist and best-selling author of Hillbilly Elegy, is running to the U.S. Senate in Ohio where incumbent Republican Rob Portman has retired. Vance and Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for Senate, have desperately tried to. rebrand themselves as Trump-style, anti-immigrant, anti-Big Tech zealots. Vance’s politics appear to be closer to that of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., than to the former president, but it’s his financial backers who have raised the most concern.

Vance is supported by the Mercer familyTrump’s funding source was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Trump adviser Steve Bannon. many of the key playersParticipated in the inciting of election lies and subsequent Capitol riot.

Vance’s biggest benefactor is venture capitalist Peter ThielTrump and other far-right Republicans have been targeted by Thiel, who has been throwing large sums at them. Thiel, who has worked with Vance for years, dropped $10 million to back his Senate bid and another $10 million to support his protégé Blake Masters’ Senate bid in Arizona, along with maximum donations to several House campaigns. Though Thiel largely keeps a low public profile, he is “in many ways further to the right than Trump,” author Max Chafkin, who profiled Thiel in a recent book, told Salon earlier this year, and “wants to be the patron of the Trump wing of the Republican Party.”

Noah Malgeri — Nevada, 3rd Congressional District

Trump has frequently drawn condemnation for calling for “locking up” political opponents but some Republicans have gone even further, calling for actual violence against their adversaries.

William Braddock, a Republican, is running to fill the Florida House seat left vacant by outgoing Rep. Charlie Crist D-Fla. (who, incidentally, is running as governor). threatened to send a “hit squad” to make his Republican primary opponent “disappear.” His opponent was granted a restraining order.

Wyoming state senator Anthony Bouchard, who is running earlier this year to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney. suggested executing White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, which the state’s Democratic Party reported to the FBI.

Noah Malgeri, a Republican candidate to face Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.), called for the execution of General Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was targeted by Republicans because of a call he made earlier this week to a Chinese general to assure him that the United States wasn’t planning to attack.

“We don’t need a congressional commission to investigate the crimes of Mark Milley, all the evidence is out there,” Malgeri said in a Facebook Live interviewThis week. “What did they used to do to traitors if they were convicted by a court? They would execute them,” he added. “That’s still the law in the United States of America. I think, you know, if he’s guilty of it by a court martial, they should hang him on CNN. I mean, they’re not going to do it on CNN. But on C-SPAN or something.”