DAlthough he won’t appear on the November ballot, former President Donald Trump played a major role in the midterm elections by endorsing a slew of Republican candidates.
But a number of high-profile Republicans in battleground states have thrown their support behind Democratic candidates opposed to some of those Trump-endorsed nominees. It’s unclear what effect, if any, the conflicting endorsements will have, but it shows how the Republican Party has fractured, to some extent, over whether to continue embracing the former president.
MAJORITY OF VOTERS HAVE ELECTION DENIATORS ON THE BULLETIN FOR POSITIONS SUPERVISING ELECTIONS
Here is a list of Republicans who supported the Democrats over their party’s nominee:
State Representative Joel John (R) turned heads in Arizona after Republican lawmakers endorsed Democratic nominee Adrian Fontes over Trump-backed State Representative Mark Finchem (R) in the race for the post of Secretary of State.
“Our nation’s history is full of heroes who bravely stood up to do what was right even when it was not popular in their respective camps,” John said in a press release. “We need more people like that today. I am proud to support Adrian Fontes and join the noble Republicans and Independents who are ready to put country before party. … His opponent is someone who has sought to get rid of mail-in voting and has sought to void the 2020 election. Arizona deserves better.
The race rose to prominence in the state’s midterm elections after Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who currently holds the position and has strongly defended the state’s administration of the 2020 election, announced that she would not seek re-election and would instead run for the Senate. The issue of election integrity has become central to the race, with Finchem backing Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was riddled with fraud.
Arizona has become ground zero for Trump’s voter fraud allegations, with the state Senate spending months auditing the 2020 election in Maricopa County. Senior county officials criticized the effort, pointing out that a report on the matter offered “no new evidence” that would alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
A handful of former Republican governors have thrown their support behind Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly (D-KS) in her re-election bid against state Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who was trump approved for his positions on border security and crime.
Former GOP governors. Mike Hayden, who served from 1987 to 1991, and Bill Graveswho served in office from 1995 to 2003, Kelly endorsed, praising the incumbent for her bipartisan leadership.
“In 50 years of Kansas politics, I’ve seen the good times and the bad,” Hayden said. “Kansas business is in good shape right now, and I credit Governor Kelly’s bipartisan approach.”
Three Oklahoma state lawmakers have endorsed Democratic Senate candidate Kendra Horn in her fight against Trump-backed Representative Markwayne Mullin (R).
Former Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele (R) offered Horn his endorsement in a video on Wednesdaycalling her “the kind of leader we need to move our state forward in a positive, productive, and healthy direction.”
Several prominent Republicans have publicly supported Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro in his race against Senator Doug Mastriano for governor of Pennsylvania. At least 16 Republicans publicly supported Shapiro in August after being reported Mastriano posed for a photo wearing a Confederate uniform in 2014.
The governor’s race in Pennsylvania has become one of the most high-profile races as it could have implications for how the 2024 presidential election plays out in a key state. Throughout his campaign, Mastriano has supported Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Republicans who have backed Shapiro include Michael Chertoff, who served as Homeland Security Secretary under former President George W. Bush, and former State Representative Mario Civera.
“[Shapiro is] a staunch defender of our democratic institutions and will lead Pennsylvania with honor and integrity. I am proud to support his campaign for governor,” Chertoff said.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is seeking re-election this year, but several prominent Republicans in the state, including former Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, have chosen to support his Democratic opponent, Mike Collier.
Patrick is endorsed by Trump and touts support on his website.
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“As a former elected Republican, I put partisanship aside and join the growing number of Republicans who are voting for the man we believe is the best for Texas, and that’s Mike Collier,” Ratliff said. . said in a press release.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and State Senator Kel Seliger, the two republicansalso backed the Democrat.