Conspiracy Theorist Wins GOP Nomination To Become Top Arizona Election Official

Mark Finchem was outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Screenshot, YouTube/American DailyIndy
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Republican voters on Tuesday picked a conspiracy theorizing Arizona state representative to become their nominee to oversee the state’s elections.

Mark Finchem (R) is one of the country’s most prominent Big Lie activists. He will now likely run against Adrian Fontes (D), the former Maricopa County recorder.

Finchem, a Trump endorsee and member of the Oath Keepers, is part of a wave of 2022 Republican candidates who’ve carried on the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and who’ve promised to make sure things turn out differently next time around.

Finchem has spent most of his campaign saying, in many different ways, that he wished he could have helped Trump steal a second term, and that he’d be willing to do so in the future. 

Last May, Finchem wrote in a fundraising email, “I promise you this. If I was Secretary of State for Arizona in 2020, we would have won. Plain and simple.” He’s also introduced a resolution purporting to “decertify” the 2020 election results in three counties, a legal impossibility. The resolution was full of falsehoods about 2020 election statistics. 

On Jan. 5, the day before the Capitol attack, Finchem told a rally in D.C. that the election was stolen, and “this ain’t going away.” The following day, Finchem got pretty close to the Capitol building itself, though he did not go inside, and later tweeted a photo of the crowd on the Capitol steps at 3:16 p.m. “What happens when People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud. #stopthesteal,” he wrote.

A major supporter of the phony “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 ballots, Finchem quickly pivoted when the politicized review didn’t find the fraud Republicans were looking for, pitching yet another audit in Arizona’s second-largest county as a next step. He’s similarly signed onto a call for “forensic audits” — an undefined term — of all 50 states’ elections. Last summer, Finchem launched a campaign t-shirt demanding that “liberal officials and media” should “#ProveIt” — as in, “prove that there was no fraud in the election,” as dozens of investigations and audits around the country have in fact established.

Along with Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Finchem filed a lawsuit to prohibit the use of ballot tabulation machines in this year’s elections. 

Finchem’s attitude toward’s Trump’s lost 2020 reelection bid extended to his own campaign: In June, he said that if he officially lost his race, “ain’t gonna be no concession speech coming from this guy.”

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Notable Replies

  1. Well, we knew it was inevitable that a number of the loonies were going to survive the primaries.

    All we need to do now is to vote to ensure they go into the dustbins of history.

  2. Easier to beat the election deniers.

    I can’t think the GOP higher-ups are pumped about this.

    ETTD leaks into everything.

  3. This will be interesting. Republicans voted to possibly put someone in office who will be willing to waste tax dollars fighting his own office’s facts regarding voter fraud.

  4. Admittedly, it’s hard for me, after last night, not to view national politics with a Kansas-centric gaze, but:

    The No vote showed that a whole lot of Republicans voted along with the usual suspects. And, given that anyone, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, could vote on the amendment, you wouldn’t be crazy to see that vote as akin to that of a general election. All I’m saying is that, yes, the GOP, whether it likes it or not, has to account for Trump and his base in its thinking, but there does seem to be a decent hunk of Republicans that are not full-on demented and won’t vote with their party in the general election if their candidate is out-and-out crazed. (There was evidence of that in the Georgia 2020 election, that showed that enough GOPers chose not to vote for Trump that he ended up losing that state.) Anyway, I’m hopeful that the same dynamics will be at work in AZ and MI and in other states where GOP primary voters have selected howler monkeys for candidates.

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