Erie County Sheriff’s Republican nominee Brian Shank refuses to say President Joe Biden won the 2020 general election.
“All I know is that the President of the United States is Joe Biden – that’s my official statement,” Shank told the Erie Times-News when asked if he thought the 2020 presidential election had been stolen.
The comment, which puts Shank in line with a burgeoning GOP litmus test on the integrity of the 2020 election, comes three days after his appearance on Brighteon.tv programming hosted by John Diamond, director of Awareness of peacemakers, a ministry of Alliance Church Corry.
During the show, which was also posted on YouTube, Diamond falsely referred to Biden’s victory in Erie County as an “absolute lie,” as evidenced by the “200 Trump signs for every Biden sign” that he said he watched all over the county.
Shank, on the video, did not respond to the complaint.
Shank told the Erie Times-News on Monday that his challenge to the 2020 election stemmed from Bill 77, the bipartisan state law passed in 2019 that allowed universal, no-excuse postal voting.
“I didn’t really like what Governor (Tom) Wolf did, how he moved the goalposts on the mail-in ballots,” Shank said.
The state Supreme Court, not Wolf, extended the postal ballot deadline by three days in the November 3, 2020 election due to concerns about the pandemic.
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Shank, who was a member of the Erie County Election Board during the 2020 election cycle, had to leave the board, as did other members of the Erie County Council, when he ran for office. sheriff this year.
Shank, on the show, further targeted his political critics – or as he put it, the “bad guys across the street” – who he says have attacked his website at least four times. and attacked his pro-gun. position. .
“They don’t want constitutionally strong sheriffs in these seats because they know what’s going to happen,” Shank said during the program. “They know that we are going to be side by side with the people, and if we have to replace them to make sure our communities are safe, so be it.”
Shank, of the Township of Harborcreek, and the Erie County Council representative for District 5, told the Erie Times-News on Monday that he was not promoting violence, but pointed out that the sheriff had the power to replace residents in certain extreme situations such as a natural disaster.
“There is no war cry here. No insurgency planning. No covert ops,” Shank said. “We have the right to be free people. The Constitution says we are allowed to be free people and we have the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Shank appeared on the show immediately after Richard Mack, one of the founders of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which the Anti-Defamation League calls “an extremist anti-government group whose main purpose is to recruit sheriffs. in the anti-government “patriot” movement. ” An article posted on Mack’s Facebook page on October 19 states that he “believes that elected sheriffs who take the oath of the US Constitution are among the highest authorities in the country and do not need to listen to other elected leaders or the Supreme Court of the United States. “
Shank told the Erie Times-News that a “constitutionally strong sheriff” means a sheriff who does not comply with politics or political parties but rather adheres to the Constitution.
Shank, who faces Democratic candidate Chris Campanelli in Tuesday’s general municipal election, directed much of his anger at a New York-based gun safety group called Everytown for gun safety.
The group, which is backed by former New York mayor and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, ran ads highlighting allegations of misconduct Shank faced as a State Corrections Institute correctional officer of Cambridge Springs, a minimum security prison for women, before her retirement in 2014.
Bloomberg targets Shank:Mike Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety targets Shank in Erie County Sheriff’s race
Shank called the political action committee group “seizing the guns” and lumped them together with other critics of his campaign.
“I can’t tell you how many signs I stole. I even had two signs cut out with a knife,” Shank said. “They are not good people. They are bad guys.”