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Trump's stolen election claims drive record fundraising in secretary of state races

Former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election are raising the stakes in swing-state secretary of state races, with Democratic and Republican candidates alike pulling in record-breaking fundraising hauls, HuffPost reports.

As President Biden pushes his voting rights bills in Congress and Republican-controlled state legislatures pass new election security laws, secretaries of state — who oversee statewide elections — find themselves in the national spotlight like never before.

According to an analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice, secretary of state candidates in Georgia, Michigan, and Minnesota have "collectively raised 2.5 times more than candidates had at a comparable point in 2014 or 2018 election cycles," writes HuffPost.

In a statement posted on his website Monday, Trump claimed Georgia and Michigan are states in which "the fraudulent and irregular votes are massive." The following day, he released another statement falsely asserting that "Biden actually lost BIG in Georgia."

Trump lost both states in 2020.

The Brennan analysis also notes that the best-funded candidate in the Georgia race, Jody Hice, is also the field's most vocal supporter of Trump's stolen election narrative. "I believe if there was a fair election, it would be a different outcome," Hice told CNN in May. When asked if he believed Trump won Georgia, his response was "Absolutely."

Bee Nguyen, a Democrat running for Georgia secretary of state, tweeted Wednesday that she is running to prevent "the subversion of our democracy" and "uphold the will of the people."

During a Tuesday interview with NPR, Trump was asked whether he would only offer his endorsements to candidates in the 2022 midterms who supported his claims about the 2020 election.  Trump's reply was evasive. "What they have to do, they're going to do," the former president said before cutting the interview short.