Democrats attack Diehl over election denial | Election

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BOSTON — Democrats are attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl over his support for former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

In a new TV ad, the state’s Democratic Party claims Diehl has echoed Trump’s erroneous claims that widespread fraud cost him the election against Democrat Joe Biden, allegations that led to dozens of failed lawsuits to overturn the results and prompted the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“Geoff Diehl. Donald Trump. Fellow election deniers,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot. “Massachusetts needs a governor that puts us first, not Donald Trump.”

The ads references a New York Times article where a Diehl spokesperson said “no comment” in response to a question about whether he would accept the outcome of the 2022 elections. The newspaper included him in a story about Trump-backed “election denier” candidates in the upcoming midterms.

Diehl and his running mate for lieutenant governor, Leah Allen, will face Democrat Maura Healey and her running-mate Kim Driscoll in the Nov. 8 elections to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who isn’t seeking a third term.

Healey’s campaign released a list of statements by Diehl where he questions the outcome of the 2020 election, claiming he has “flip-flopped” over the issue.

To be sure, Diehl has acknowledged that Biden won in the 2020 elections, but has repeatedly asserted in interviews that it was “rigged” against Trump.

He has argued there were “flaws” in the voting process in battleground states that decided the outcome, and has cited concerns about security with mail-in voting.

In a statement in response to the New York Times article, Diehl accused the newspaper of spreading of a “false narrative” and claimed that it would be “ridiculous and preposterous” to ask a candidate for public office to “blindly accept” the results of an election “that hasn’t happened yet.”

“Liberal news organizations are obsessed with trying to get Republican politicians to commit to accepting the results of the 2022 election before it happens,” the statement read.

The issue of election “deniers” has become a major theme in the upcoming midterm elections, with control of Congress hanging in the balance.

Nationwide, more than 300 GOP candidates in federal and state races this fall are perpetuating Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him and that elections are deeply flawed, according to a new report by the Brookings Institute. That includes four candidates in Massachusetts, which the group didn’t identify.

“Although no one has ever found proof of widespread and/or systematic fraud in the 2020 presidential election, the persistent and high-volume repetition by Trump and his high-profile surrogates has convinced many other Republicans that election was stolen,” the report’s authors wrote.

“For many who don’t actually believe Trump’s assertions, the fact that he made belief in the ‘Big Lie’ a condition of his support for one Republican over another in the primaries, led them to mimic Trump,” they added.

The institute said the election deniers include candidates for governor, secretaries of state and attorneys general who would, if elected, will “have a great deal to say about how elections in their state will be run in the future.”

Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites. Email him at

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