(AP) — Nevada Republican Jim Marchant insisted there hadn't been a legitimate election in his state in more than a decade. All of Nevada's election winners since 2006, he said on a recent podcast, were "installed by the deep-state cabal."
But when Marchant won the Republican nomination for Nevada secretary of state this week, he immediately celebrated the victory as legitimate.
"I am beyond humbled by the overwhelming support of our campaign. Nevadans made their voices heard," Marchant declared on social media.
Such inconsistency has become a hallmark of election deniers in Republican primary contests across the U.S. in this year's midterms. Dozens of GOP candidates who sought former President Donald Trump's backing in Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere have spent months parroting his baseless claims of 2020 election fraud but then declared victory without raising such concerns in their own elections.
Amid such seeming hypocrisy, many Republican candidates are still vowing to pursue a series of election reforms that could make it more difficult to vote — particularly for those who traditionally support Democrats — in the name of election integrity.
Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison warned that "MAGA Republicans will do anything in their desperate chase for power."
"From undermining our democracy by spreading Trump's Big Lie, to laying the groundwork to try to cancel votes when they don't agree with the outcome, but falling silent if they win, this is today's Republican Party," Harrison told The Associated Press.
In Nevada on Tuesday, Marchant was among a slate of election deniers who secured their places on the November ballot without questioning the legitimacy of the results. The group included candidates for Senate, state treasurer and a Las Vegas-area congressional seat. That's even as the majority of counties relied upon Dominion voting machines, which continue to be the target of conspiracy theories by Trump and his allies.
The phenomenon extends well beyond Nevada.
In Pennsylvania, Republican nominee for governor Doug Mastriano spearheaded a state Senate hearing in which witnesses — including former Trump campaign attorneys Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani — aired false claims about mass voter fraud. Mastriano also was outside the U.S. Capitol when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building during the deadly 2021 insurrection. And he later tried to bring a partisan election audit to Pennsylvania before he was stripped of his committee chairmanship by his own party.
Mastriano made no mention of voter fraud as he declared victory in Pennsylvania's Republican primary for governor last month.
"God is good," a smiling Mastriano told cheering supporters.
The Mastriano campaign declined to respond to a question about the apparent double standard.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also ignored questions about his contradictory positions on voter fraud.
Paxton won his fiercely contested primary last month after spending much of the last year championing Trump's bogus claims of election fraud. In the aftermath of Joe Biden's presidential win, Paxton filed a legal challenge to the election results in four battleground states. He asked the U.S. Supreme Court to set them aside and allow the Republican-controlled state legislatures to determine the winner.
Seventeen other Republican state attorneys general supported the effort.
The high court rejected the challenge three days after the lawsuit was filed, finding Texas did not have standing to sue other states over how they conduct their elections. And the state bar moved to discipline Paxton just days after his primary win, claiming his leading role in petitioning the Supreme Court to block Biden's victory was "dishonest."
State and federal election officials across the country and Trump's own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence the election was tainted. The former president's allegations of fraud also were roundly rejected by courts, including by judges he appointed.