MISSOURI, USA — A Republican congressman running for U.S. Senate in Missouri released a 30-second ad Thursday that falsely claims the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
Billy Long, who represents a southwestern Missouri district in the U.S. House, is among several candidates seeking the GOP nomination in 2022 for the seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt, who is not seeking a third term.
In the ad, Long cites his early support of Trump.
“But the Democrats rigged the election. Now we have Biden and the far-left crazies letting inflation rise faster than an auctioneer rattling off numbers,” Long says. “I’m running for Senate to stop the insanity, stop the wokeness, and stop the Democrats from stealing another election.”
Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence the election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud were also roundly rejected by courts, including by judges Trump appointed.
Long's ad and a news release from his campaign cite no evidence that the election was fraudulent. Phone and email messages left with Long's campaign weren't immediately returned.
The news release calls the 2020 election “the greatest theft of an election in American history.” It says that if elected to the Senate, Long “promises to block the Democrats’ extremist efforts to change voting laws to their benefit and promises to prevent another stolen election.”
Across the country, Senate candidates courting Trump’s endorsement and the support of his base have embraced the lie that he won the 2020 election, using the issue to signal their loyalty to the former president and prove their MAGA bonafides.
The rhetoric has become a defining issue in several Republican Senate primary campaigns, including in Ohio and Arizona.
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed from New York.