Wasden claims to have a “20-year track record of calling strikes and balls fairly and squarely”

He may not be able to survive a GOP primary challenge, but that could still allow him to keep his seat. Wasden was among seven Republican attorneys general who opted against the ill-fated challenge to the 2020 presidential election results from other states. He also declined to join the other GOP attorneys general in a complaint to President Joe Biden about vaccine mandates. However, he did end up joining lawsuits against many of them.

His moderate views have made him a target for Republicans who are increasingly critical of COVID-19 and repeat false claims which led to the defeat of former President Donald Trump. As he bids to be the top state government lawyer, Wasden faces two challengers.

Arthur McComber (one of the challengers) stated that a key function for the attorney general is to protect federal power. He said Wasden has not done enough.

McComber, a real-estate lawyer, stated that “it’s basically an misunderstanding of the Attorney General position”.

The far-right shift in the GOP is evident in Wasden’s challenge from within his party. Similar dynamics are evident in the races for attorney general throughout the country. An office commonly referred to “the people’s lawyers” — which is responsible in most states, for consumer protections and criminal prosecutions — has been increasingly consumed ideological battles.

This year, there are more attorneys general seats than ever in 30 states. The most likely areas to attract large spending are in political battlegrounds like Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. These states will again be expected to play significant roles in the 2024 presidential election.

27 of the 27 current attorneys general seats are held by Republicans. Paul Nolette is a Marquette University political scientist, who studies the office. He believes Republicans could increase that number to at least 30 in a midterm election, when Republicans are poised to win in all races.

They have already won an early victory. In Virginia, which has been trending more Democratic in recent years, voters defeated the incumbent Democratic attorney General. It was part of a GOP wave that saw the party also claim the governor’s chair and one of the houses of the legislature.

Nolette stated that party affiliation is more important for the office than ever: “The office has become like other statewide office at this point — highly polemized.”

An arm of Republican Attorneys General Association hosted “war-games” to help officials plan for a response in the event of a Trump win. This group, the Rule of Law Defense Fund was promoted the Jan. 6, 2021 rally by Trump supporters to stop the certification of electors.

Democrats are increasingly concerned that the Republican wave could sweep Democratic governors and secretaries of states out of power in key presidential battleground states. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, has previously served as Montana’s attorney general and governor. He warned that a rogue lawyer general could hinder election results.

“How can they interfere with it if he doesn’t believe in the rule and law?” He said that both in affirmatively taking action and defensively failing the to defend the interests of the states.

As demonstrated in 2020, while secretaries of state oversee most elections in states, attorneys general can play key roles in the aftermath.

One month later, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an annulment of the results in four states that had voted for Trump over Biden. The court rejected the attempt after 18 other Republican attorneys general had filed papers in support.

Idaho’s Wasden wasn’t one of them.

He said that he had seen the Texas case and that it was clear that the lawsuit was against the Constitution. California can sue Idaho if Texas can sue Pennsylvania.

McComber, who has been slightly more supportive of Wasden in the campaign, stated that he would have joined Texas’ lawsuit and added an amicus brief. This was to raise further legal points. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states had no standing to challenge elections in other states.

As did the Republican attorney general of Georgia, Democratic attorneys general supported their states’ 2020 elections results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“The public must understand which side their state AG stands on,” said Aaron Ford, Nevada Attorney General, during a January video conference.

Sigal Chattah is the Republican candidate for the Nevada job. She faults Ford for not investigating election fraud more quickly and vigorously. His office brought charges against one voter who allegedly cast a ballot for his deceased wife.

Chattah asked, “Do we really believe that this was an isolated incident?” “I don’t.”

The Associated Press investigated possible cases of voter fraud from the 2020 presidential election in Nevada, and five other battleground states where Trump’s allies disputed the outcome. The Associated Press found that Nevada election officials had identified between 93 to 98 possible cases, which is less than 0.3% of Biden’s victory margin in the state.

While the fields may not be set in all races for attorney general, there are common GOP primary showdowns among establishment-style conservatives with those farther to the right in many states like Minnesota, Kansas, and Michigan.

Geoff Burgan, spokesperson for the Democratic Attorneys General Association, stated that “in so many of these races it is a race see who can align themselves most closely with Donald Trump’s brand of politics, and the big lie” about the election being stolen.

Johnny Koremenos is a spokesperson for the Republican Attorneys General Association. He declined to answer voicemail or email questions about whether Republican lawyers general might attempt to undermine lawful elections results. He stated that “2022 will prove to be a great year” for Republicans running for the office of attorney general.

Michigan’s state party conventions select nominees, rather than the primaries. Former state House Speaker Tom Leonard hopes for a rematch with Democratic incumbent Dana Nessel.

Leonard, who boasts being named the state’s most conservative legislator, must first defeat two GOP oppositions in a party convention. Matthew DePerno is one of the two. He sued Michigan’s Antrim County, claiming that voting machines in Antrim County recorded Trump votes as being for Biden in 2020. The claim against Michigan was rejected.

Leonard is focusing his efforts on issues like reducing violent crime. DePerno, however, sees election fraud a major issue — even though Republicans have found no evidence of systematic fraud within the state. Trump supports him.

David Dulio (a political scientist at Oakland University, Michigan) said that “that says it all.” “He is certain to have joined Donald Trump’s wagon, relying on the Trump brand’s strength in this election,” said Dulio.

Interview requests were not answered by DePerno.