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Tags: Election 2022 | Secretary of State | Arizona

Democrat Wins Arizona Elections Post Over Trump-Backed Candidate

fontes at a podium smiling and waving to supporters holding signs

Democratic Adrian Fontes, candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, speaks at an election night watch party. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Saturday, 12 November 2022 08:36 AM EST

Democrat Adrian Fontes won the top elections post in Arizona on Friday, defeating a Republican rival who attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and who said he would not have certified Joe Biden’s win in the state.

Fontes, who formerly oversaw parts of the election system in Arizona’s most populous county, had said Republican Mark Finchem represented a danger to democracy if he had won. The secretary of state, working with the governor and attorney general, has broad authority to rewrite the state’s election rules and plays a role in the certification of results.

Finchem had emerged as one of the most prominent Republicans running for secretary of state positions around the country who claimed that Biden was not elected legitimately. He had argued for significant changes to Arizona’s elections after Biden won the state in 2020 and had been endorsed by Trump.

After winning the state’s primary election in August, Finchem said he wanted to restore the rule of law to elections in the state, declaring: “Right now, we have lawlessness.”

There was no evidence of widespread fraud found in the 2020 elections, including in Arizona, where reviews of the voting upheld Biden’s narrow victory.

He joined with Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor, in a lawsuit seeking to get rid of the machines that tabulate votes for the midterm elections and replace that process with a hand-count of all ballots in the state. Election experts say full hand-counts can be painfully slow, are prone to human error and are not as accurate as machine tallies.

The lawsuit alleged that the vote-counting machines used in Arizona aren’t reliable. They are appealing a decision by a federal judge to dismiss their lawsuit.

Fontes is a former Marine and local prosecutor who staked his campaign on pledges to protect voting rights. He lost his seat as Maricopa County recorder after one term to a Republican in 2020.

Arizona’s secretary of state race was one of several around the country featuring Republican candidates who pushed claims that former President Donald Trump was cheated out of reelection. Many of those candidates ended up losing, including those in Michigan and New Mexico, although several went on to win the posts in heavily Republican states.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Politics
Democrat Adrian Fontes won the top elections post in Arizona on Friday, defeating a Republican rival who attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and who said he would not have certified Joe Biden's win in the state.F
Election 2022, Secretary of State, Arizona
379
2022-36-12
Saturday, 12 November 2022 08:36 AM
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