Mark Finchem, who led the overturn of the 2020 Arizona election results, speaks at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for secretary of state brought him one step closer to an office that could oversee future elections on emerging battlefields.
Arizona is one of the states at the center of former President Donald Trump’s attempt to reverse his 2020 election loss. If state Representative Finchem wins in November, Trump could wield enormous power over the state’s electoral system for two years, whether or not he runs again.
Finchem’s fervent embrace of election conspiracy has won him Trump’s backing and made him a front-runner in a crowded primary field that includes another election skeptic, one who supports multiple new elections. law to restrict voting rights to a state senator, and a state senator who has backing An old-school Republican establishment has largely lost control of the Arizona Republican Party, which has run to the far right.
He will join Nevada’s Jim Marchant and Michigan’s Christina Karamo as the most prominent right-wing Republicans vying for the seat as part of the so-called “America First” slate of candidates for secretary of state who rejected the election. Influence key swing state elections.
Finchem was probably the most radical of the bunch.he used to be a member of the oatha far-right militia group and a front-line role in Trump’s efforts to invalidate the 2020 election: He met with Trump’s lawyers and advisers, including Rudy Giuliani, shortly after the election Arguing that there was extensive fraud in Arizona and was involved in a push to nominate “fake voters” to help overturn the election. He was in Washington during the January 6 uprising, and footage from that day shows him in outside the capitol during the riots.
Finchem told supporters that he won’t authenticate He was in charge of the 2020 election results, and he backed CyberNinjas’ conspiratorial “audit” of the results of the Maricopa County, Arizona, elections, which, despite being expressly designed to do so, failed to find evidence of widespread fraud.His role in the fake voter scheme and other attempts to overturn the election won a subpoena for him From the congressional committee investigating the uprising.
If he loses, he has threatened to challenge the legitimacy of the November election:
“This guy isn’t going to give any concession speeches,” Finchem said at a campaign fundraiser in late June. According to the Republic of Arizona“If there is the slightest hint of wrongdoing, I will ask for 100% of the lot (votes). I will urge the next governor to do the same.”
The bigger concern may be what Finchem will do if he wins. Arizona Republicans responded to the GOP’s first loss in the presidential election since 1996 by targeting voting rights, and Finchem has pledged to step up those efforts.
Finchem has argued that early voting and mail-in voting are a major source of fraud, but has provided no evidence to support his claims. He questioned the constitutionality of early voting on dubious grounds and suggested it would be one of his main goals, even though 90 percent of Arizonans regularly vote before Election Day. He wants to force Arizona officials to count all the ballots by hand, Endorsement of right-wing conspiracy theory that voting machines rigged Biden’s results.
Finchem also supports funding for state legislatures currently controlled by Republicans. Power to reject election results — The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is likely to support that approach in a case under consideration this fall. (Arizona Legislation died in state legislature This year. )
Finchem’s primary victory could boost Democrats’ hopes of retaining the seat, with current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) freed up to run for governor, even in a year that could favor Republicans.
But it also puts him closer to a position where he risks questioning the 2024 outcome if they don’t support Republicans. In fact, Arizona Democrats are almost certain that Finchem will try to reject any future GOP losses in the state.
State House Minority Leader Reginald Boulding, one of two candidates in the Democratic primary for secretary of state, told the Huffington Post this week that if Finchem wins in November, “not only Arizona, but our country will be in the same boat. There may be a constitutional crisis.”
“He conveyed the fact that he’s not going to prove that Donald Trump isn’t going to win,” said Adrian Fontes, a former Maricopa County tape recorder who oversaw his election in 2020 and is also seeking the Democratic nomination. “He has no integrity. He has no honor. He has no intention of carrying out his duties and swears he will falsely swear. So I really don’t have a problem in my mind. He just won’t do the job.”