Election Denier Mark Finchem Projected to Lose AZ Secretary of State Race to Adrian Fontes

AZ Republic:

Adrian Fontes wasn’t popping the champagne corks just yet.

Minutes after being projected as the winner of Arizona’s secretary of state race on Friday night, he said he accepted the conclusion as ‘the media’s best estimation.”

But he was quick to add that the official determination will be made when all of the votes are properly and fully counted, a process that could take another week or so.

“I meant it when I said I respect the process,” a measured Fontes said minutes after being named the unofficial winner by The Associated Press, NBC News and CNN.

A Democrat and former Maricopa County recorder, Fontes built his campaign around a defense of the state’s electoral system, which he said has withstood the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. He oversaw the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county, which became the epicenter of conspiracy theories that the vote was rigged to hand Joe Biden the win.

His campaign was a sharp contrast to that of Republican Mark Finchem, a Trump-endorsed candidate who has denied the results of the 2020 election and suggested that he would not accept the results of the secretary of state race if he found the “slightest suggestion of impropriety.”

On Friday, Finchem wrote on social media that “the media does not decide elections, the voters do.”

Fontes said he will wait for the voters’ official decision, but expressed optimism in a positive outcome for his campaign.

“I hope this projection sticks and I plan to be a solid secretary of state for every Arizonan, not just for those who share my party affiliation,” Fontes said in a brief interview.

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