A “Poster Child” for Election Deniers Could Run Elections in Arizona

Mark Finchem is part of a wave of election deniers running as the “America First Secretary of State Coalition.”

Republican State Rep. Mark FinchemMother Jones illustration; Ross D. Franklin/AP

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Update, August 3: Republican State Rep. Mark Finchem won his bid to be the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Arizona.

Arizona could be gearing up to elect a 2020 election denier to the position responsible for overseeing future elections.

Republican State Rep. Mark Finchem is a huge proponent of the lie that former President Trump won the 2020 election. Politico called him a “poster child” for this lost cause. He supported the slapdash GOP review of all the votes cast in Arizona’s Maricopa County in 2020, and he called for decertifying the results in that state. He’s backed by Trump, Michael Flynn, and the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell. And he appears close to winning the Republican nomination for Arizona secretary of state.

Polling for the race is scarce, but a recent survey of 502 likely Republican voters showed 32 percent supporting Finchem—a significant lead over competitor Beau Lane, who came in at 11 percent. To give you an idea of the stakes in the general election: During the last secretary of state election in 2018, when Democrats had more of an edge nationwide than is expected this year, Democrat Katie Hobbs won the Arizona secretary of state race by a margin of just 0.8 percent.

And Finchem isn’t the only election denier vying to run elections. Across the country, a group of election deniers who call themselves the “America First Secretary of State Coalition” are aiming to control elections in battleground states. Several members of the coalition, including Tina Peters in Colorado, have lost their primaries. Others, like Michigan’s Kristina Karamo and New Mexico’s Audrey Trujillo, have secured the GOP nominations in their states. Tonight, Kansas Republicans will decide whether to nominate election denier Mike Brown for secretary of state, or stick with incumbent Scott Schwab. And if all goes well for Finchem, he could come one step closer to imperiling election integrity for years to come.

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