Leahy: Rob Wittman’s Election Denialism is Really Self-Preservation

It’s a quiet midterm election in Richmond this election year. There’s no competitive congressional race in the region, with the competitive suburban 7th District shifted to Northern Virginia and replaced with the 1st District and its MAGA-curious incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman (R).

Barring a black swan event, Wittman looks to be cruising to reelection. What, then, are the suburban Richmond voters who just two years ago reelected Democrat Abigail Spanberger getting in their new representative?

As I wrote in July, Wittman’s strategy for winning the redrawn 1st District has been to hope that the same suburban voters who formed Spanberger’s base don’t know much, if anything, about his record.

One part of his record — the election denialist portion, that is — got even weirder with the recent House vote on the Electoral Count Act.

The bill’s broad purpose was to prevent a repeat of the insurrectionist assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) framed the vote on the bill this way, as reported by the New York Times:

If your aim is to prevent future efforts to steal elections, I would respectfully request that conservatives should support this bill,” she said on the House floor. “If instead your aim is to leave open the door for elections to be stolen in the future, you might decide not to support this or any other bill to address the Electoral Count Act.”

Wittman, like the other three GOP members of Virginia’s House delegation and most of the Republican caucus, voted against it.

That’s in keeping with Wittman’s other instances of election denialism. The Republican Accountability Project gave Wittman an “F” when it comes to democracy, noting his support for the cockamamie Texas amicus brief challenging the legitimacy of presidential electors in four states, objecting to Pennsylvania’s slate of electors and so on.

But let’s add more context to this. Consider Wittman’s explanation for why he objected to the Pennsylvania electors — hours after the rioters stormed the Capitol Building. It supports the notion that Wittman’s actions, in part, stem from old-fashioned self-preservation….

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