Election denier Mark Finchem wins Arizona GOP secretary of state primary, NBC News projects

Mark Finchem, an eminent 2020 Holocaust denier and an Arizona state legislator, won the Republican Secretary of State’s primary bills, NBC News.

With 99% of the votes expected in, Finchem, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, won 40% of the vote. State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, another 2020 election denier, got 19% of the vote, while businessman Beau Lane got 25%.

With his victory, Finchem, who continues to falsely claim that President Joe Biden did not win the state’s 2020 election, moves one step closer to being the top election official in Arizona, a state crucial turning point where efforts by Trump allies to overturn the last presidential election have persisted in the years since the race.

If elected, Finchem would, as the official who oversees the state office administering the 2024 presidential election, have the power to potentially influence the outcome of the race. Experts say that scenario could contribute to an even more robust effort to overturn a presidential election. Trump is considering another offer in 2024.

Finchem advances to the general election against the winner of a still undecided Democratic race between Adrian Fontes, the former Maricopa County recorder, and state Rep. Reginald Bolding.

Finchem, an Arizona legislator, is one of the state’s most vocal lawmakers insisting that Trump won the 2020 election. Trump endorsed Finchem last year, saying in a statement that “Mark was prepared to say what few others had the guts to say” about the 2020 race.

At a rally in January in Florence, Arizona, Finchem, alongside the former president, said: “Ladies and gentlemen, we know it and they know it – Donald Trump has won.” Trump held another rally with Finchem, along with other Arizona Republican candidates, in July, where Finchem and others repeated similar misrepresentations.

Neither Finchem nor his campaign responded to multiple emails and phone calls from NBC News requesting a response to questions about his claims regarding the 2020 election.

As a state legislator, Finchem introduced several election-related bills, including one that would make all ballots public, searchable in an online database.

Finchem has also introduced several resolutions to decertify the results of the 2020 election in three major Arizona counties, as well as a bill that would give the Legislature the power to overturn election results. He supported a supporter review of Maricopa County election results, even though the review reaffirmed Biden’s victory.

Finchem appeared on QAnon Radio Talks and attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, which led to the capture of the Capitol. He also spoke at a “Stop the Steal” event. a day earlier, telling the crowd that Trump had won the 2020 elections. In a 2014 interview with local media InMaricopa.comFinchem identified himself as a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia whose founder was accused of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the January 6 uprising.

NBC News reported that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot had subpoenaed Finchem, seeking more information about his claims that the election was “rigged” and his communications with organizers of the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally.

Finchem is a member of the pro-Trump United States First Secretary of State Coalitionwhich includes candidates for Secretary of State who refuse elections in several other swing states, including Jim merchant (the Republican candidate in Nevada), Kristina Karamo (the Republican candidate in Michigan) and Jody Hice (who lost hers). race in May in Georgia to Brad Raffensperger). The four states are those in which Biden marked his narrowest wins in 2020.

Biden beat Trump in Arizona by about 10,500 votes, and none of the many lawsuits or earnings audits in the state found widespread fraud.

With his primary victory, Finchem becomes the sixth Republican candidate for Secretary of State who denies the 2020 election results to qualify for the general election. according States United Action, a non-partisan group that tracks secretary of state, attorney general and races of governors.

The other five are Karamo from Michigan (who was endorsed by the state GOP in April to be the party’s nominee), Marchant of Nevada, Diego Morales in Indiana, Wes Allen in Alabama and Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico. According to the group, Finchem was, as of July 28, among at least 20 Holocaust deniers who have run for secretary of state in 16 states in the United States. They also include Mike Brown in Kansas and Tamborine Borrelli in Washington. Neither won their primaries on Tuesday night.

If Finchem wins in November, he would, as Arizona’s secretary of state, have the power over the next two years to not only transform the way elections are run — in a way that some experts say could help potential nominee Trump – but also to tip the scales in a close race, the way Trump asked Raffensperger to do in 2020.

Meanwhile, the former prosecutor Abraham Hamadeh, another supported by Trump the election denier, was competing with five other Republicans, including another election denier, in the Arizona Republican attorney general primary. The winner will face Democrat Kris Mayes in November. Attorney General Mark Brnovich ran for the Senate but lost a primary to Blake Masters, the NBC News projects.

Additionally, Republican Kari Lake was in a tight race for the state’s Republican primary for governor on Tuesday. Arizona may have election deniers in place in its three main state roles — a trio of positions that oversees, administers, defends and certifies elections and election results.

Arizona Democratic incumbent Katie Hobbs will be the Democratic candidate for governor after winning her primary on Tuesday.

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