Arizona Republican secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem doubled down on the conspiracy theories that he has espoused about the 2020 presidential election in a debate against Democrat Adrian Fontes Thursday night, asserting that the votes in several key Arizona counties should have been “set aside” even though there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 contest.
“There are certain counties that should have been set aside as irredeemably compromised — Maricopa County was one of them. Yuma County was one of them,” the Republican state lawmaker said, echoing claims he made in a February resolution that called for decertifying the 2020 election results in three Arizona counties — even though legal experts say there is no legal mechanism to do so. “We have so many votes outside of the law that it begs the question, what do we do with an election where we have votes that are in the stream, which should not be counted?”
Finchem, a Republican state representative in Arizona, was endorsed by Donald Trump in September of 2021 after becoming one of the most vocal supporters of the former President’s lies about the 2020 presidential election. Trump is supporting a broad array of election deniers vying for office in November as he continues his unrelenting campaign to undermine and subvert the 2020 results.
Finchem is one of at least 11 Republican nominees running for state elections chief who have questioned, rejected or tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election, as CNN’s Daniel Dale chronicled last month — a trend that has alarmed election experts and increasingly drawn the notice of the public.