Feb 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Candidates to run elections get funding surge

Note: States are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin. The 2022 bar in the chart was updated after a correction to Brennan Center's data for Nevada. ; Reproduced from Brennan Center for Justice; Chart: Axios Visuals

Candidates running for the top state election position in battleground states have had a fundraising windfall as former President Trump and associates continue to push baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

Driving the news: As of the end of December, state secretary of state candidates running in six states this fall had brought in three times as much money as 2018 candidates at the same point in the election cycle, according to new research by the Brennan Center for Justice.

By the numbers: Two Georgia secretary of state candid­ates have raised more than $1 million — Trump-backed Republican U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, with $1.6 million, and Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen, with $1.1 million.

  • Incum­bent Brad Raffen­sper­ger, a Republican targeted by Trump, has raised $705,000.
  • There's also been a surge in out-of-state contributions in some of the battleground states — a clear sign of the rising national interest in key state election roles.
  • Wisconsin's even seen a surge of funds, despite the fact its secretary of state is not currently involved in election oversight.

What to watch: Ongoing efforts by some Republicans to cast doubt on the 2020 election results are proving to be a moneymaker for some candidates.

  • Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican, introduced a bill that would decertify the 2020 election results in three counties.
  • Finchem's secretary of state campaign had attrac­ted 7,516 donors — six times more than the total number of donors to 2018 secretary of state candid­ates, according to the Brennan Center.

Editor’s note: This story and chart have been corrected to reflect that Nevada’s 2022 secretary of state fundraising is outpacing 2010, not lagging behind 2010 as initially shown by data provided to Axios by the Brennan Center.

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