Democrat Cisco Aguilar defeats Trump-backed election denier Jim Marchant in Nevada secretary of state race

Republican Jim Marchant, a prominent election denier, has lost Nevada’s secretary of state race to Democrat Cisco Aguilar, NBC News projected Saturday.

Aguilar, a lawyer and former staffer for the late Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will make history as Nevada’s first Latino secretary of state. He will succeed Republican Barbara Cegavske, who is term-limited and has served in the role since 2015.

The race for the Nevada’s top elections official has been closely watched in the days since Tuesday’s election, as former President Donald Trump’s allies have continued to cast doubt over the 2020 presidential election results in a battleground state where the winner will oversee the 2024 presidential election.

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Marchant, a former Nevada state legislator, has been a prominent promoter of some of those claims, and has continued to insist that President Joe Biden did not win the state, raising concerns by some Democrats that a victory would pave the way for him to use the power of the office to influence the outcome of the 2024 race.

In 2020, Marchant pushed for a slate of so-called alternate slate of electors in the presidential election, and has since expressed the possibility of making a similar push in future elections.

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Jim Marchant speaks at a Republican election night watch party on Nov. 3, 2020, in Las Vegas.John Locher / AP file

In an interview with NBC News earlier this year, Marchant said if he held office in 2024, he wouldn’t rule out advocating for an alternate slate of Trump electors if the former president were on the ballot.

Election deniers like Marchant ran in congressional races and for statewide offices that have significant power over elections, such as governor, secretary of state and attorney general.

Marchant’s loss comes on the heels of several other election deniers, like Arizona’s Mark Finchem, who lost their races this month.

The failed bids were for governor, secretary of state and attorney general in Michigan; governor and Senate in Pennsylvania; Senate in New Hampshire and Wisconsin; and secretary of state in Minnesota and New Mexico, among others.

Aguilar, who had been locked in a tight race with Marchant, declared victory in a statement Friday evening.

“Nevada’s voters used their voices to protect our democracy and the fundamental right to vote,” he said. “This campaign was about defending democracy for all Nevadans and I’m humbled so many Nevadans put partisanship aside and stood up for free and fair elections. We must continue to reject extremism and those who threaten our democracy.”

Aguilar’s win was lauded by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who chairs the Democratic Association of Secretaries of Secretaries of State, ahead of NBC News projecting the race.

“Cisco Aguilar will be the next Secretary of State for Nevada — a resounding win for democracy,” Griswold said in a statement. “This victory means Nevada will have a Secretary of State who believes that voters should decide election results, not politicians. We know that Cisco Aguilar will serve his constituents by protecting their elections, and defending their right to vote.”

Adam Edelman contributed.

source: nbcnews.com