Mark Finchem, a prominent 2020 election denier and Arizona State Assemblyman, has won the Republican Secretary of State’s projects for NBC News.
With 99 percent of the expected votes, Finchem, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, had 40 percent of the vote. State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, another 2020 election denier, had 19% of the vote, while businessman Beau Lane got 25%.
With his victory, Finchem, who continues to falsely claim President Joe Biden didn’t win the state’s 2020 election, comes with his goal of becoming the top election official in Arizona, a key swing state where efforts by Trump allies, the Plunging elections a step closer to recent presidential elections have continued in the years since the race.
If elected, Finchem, as the official overseeing the state’s office administering the 2024 presidential election, would have the power to potentially influence the outcome of the race. Experts say this scenario could fuel even greater efforts to overthrow a presidential election. Trump is considering another bid in 2024.
Finchem is advancing to the general election against the winner of a Democratic race still tied between former Maricopa County clerk Adrian Fontes and State Rep. Reginald Bolding.
Finchem, a member of the Arizona Legislature, is among the state’s most outspoken lawmakers in insisting Trump won the 2020 election. Trump backed Finchem last year, saying in a statement that “Mark was willing to say what few others have had the courage to say” about the 2020 race.
At a January rally in Florence, Ariz., Finchem said alongside the former president, “Ladies and gentlemen, we know and you know — Donald Trump has won.” Trump held another rally with Finchem and other Republican candidates in July from Arizona, where Finchem and others repeated similarly false claims.
Neither Finchem nor his campaign have responded to multiple emails and phone calls from NBC News seeking a response to questions about his claims about the 2020 election.
As a state legislature, Finchem introduced several election-related bills, including one that would make all ballots publicly available and searchable in an online database.
Finchem also introduced several Resolutions aimed at straightening out the results of the 2020 election in three major Arizona counties, and a bill that would give the Legislature the power to overrule election results. He supported a partisan review of Maricopa County’s election results, though the review confirmed Biden’s victory.
Finchem has appeared QAnon radio talk shows and attended the Stop the Steal rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, which led to the storming of the Capitol. He also spoke at a Stop the Steal event a day earlier he told the crowd that Trump won the 2020 election. In a 2014 interview with local news outlet InMaricopa.comFinchem identified himself as a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group whose founder was charged with seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the January 6 uprising.
NBC News has reported that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots has subpoenaed Finchem for more information about his claims that the election was “rigged” and his communications with organizers of the ” Stop the Steal rally on January 6th.
Finchem is a member of the pro-Trump party America First Secretary of the Coalition, which includes runaway secretary of state candidates in several other swing states, including Jim Marchant (the Republican nominee in Nevada), Kristina Karamo (the Republican nominee in Michigan), and Jody Hice (who lost his race to Brad in Georgia in May). Raffensperger). All four states are where Biden had his narrowest wins in 2020.
Biden beat Trump by about 10,500 votes in Arizona, and none of the state’s many lawsuits or audits of the results uncovered widespread fraud.
With his first win, Finchem becomes the sixth Republican candidate for foreign minister to deny the 2020 election results to advance to the general election. corresponding States United Action, a non-partisan group that Sense Secretary of State, Attorney General and Governor’s Race.
The other five are Michigan’s Karamo (who was confirmed as the party’s nominee by the state GOP in April), Nevada’s Marchant, Indiana’s Diego Morales, Alabama’s Wes Allen and New Mexico’s Audrey Trujillo. According to the group, as of July 28, Finchem was among at least 20 abstainers running for secretary of state in 16 US states. Among them are Mike Brown in Kansas and Tamborine Borrelli in Washington. Both failed to win their primaries on Tuesday night.
If Finchem wins in November, as Arizona Secretary of State for the next two years, he would have the power to change not just the way elections are conducted — in a way some experts say bestows potential candidate Trump could help – but also to tip the scales in a close race, as Trump demanded of Raffensperger in 2020.
Meanwhile, former prosecutor Abraham Hamadeh, another Trump-backed COC, ran against five other Republicans, including another COC, in the Arizona Republican attorney general’s primary. The winner will face Democrat Kris Mayes in November. Attorney General Mark Brnovich ran for Senate in a primary against Blake Masters.
Additionally, Republican Kari Lake was in a close race Tuesday for the state’s Republican primary for governor. It’s possible that Arizona could have election deniers in its top three state roles — a trio of positions that oversee, administer, defend, and certify elections and election results.
Arizona’s Democratic incumbent Katie Hobbs will be the Democratic nominee for governor after winning her primary on Tuesday.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/election-denier-mark-finchem-wins-arizona-gop-secretary-state-primary-rcna40651 COO Mark Finchem Wins Arizona GOP Secretary of State Primary, NBC News Projects