2020 election denier loses Arizona secretary of state race

Arizona 2022 midterm election

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Adrian Fontes, Democratic candidate for Arizona Secretary of State speaks at an election night watch party at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on November 08, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hobbs is running against Republican candidate Kari Lake, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) —NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ has called the Arizona race for secretary of state in favor of Adrian Fontes, the Democrat.

The race between Fontes and state Rep. Mark Finchem was seen by many as a referendum on election integrity — with Fontes accepting the results of the 2020 presidential election and Finchem echoing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs declined to run for a second term in order to run for governor.

2022 General Embeds

Fontes is a former Maricopa County Recorder and previously worked as a prosecutor with the Denver District Attorney’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. He is also a Marine Corps veteran. He defeated Arizona Rep. Reginald Bolding by just over 28,000 votes in the Democratic Primary.

The Democratic candidate has said his mission if elected as secretary of state will be “preserving” election integrity and making it easier for registered voters to cast their ballots.

Finchem — a far-right Republican and current member of the Arizona House of Representatives — is a self-proclaimed member of the militia group the Oath Keepers. An analysis by the Arizona Mirror revealed he received nearly $10,000 in donations from people linked to the group. He has frequently espoused conspiracy theories related to QAnon.

Fontes trailed Finchem in fundraising for most of his campaign until he began pulling ahead in September. Polling conducted just a week before Election Day showed Fontes with a 7% lead over Finchem.

In August, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit by Finchem and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake that sought to require the state’s officials to count ballots by hand in November because of unfounded claims of voting machine problems.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

2022 General Embeds

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022