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Maricopa County elections head apologizes for vulgar Facebook post

(Facebook/Adrian Fontes, Maricopa County Recorder)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County elections chief issued an apology Wednesday for insulting a constituent who complained about a voting ballot on Facebook.

In a five-minute video on his Facebook page, Recorder Adrian Fontes said he was sorry for his “inappropriate and rude comments” to State House District 13 candidate Nathan Schneider and apologized to all county voters and residents and the elections department.

On Oct. 29, Schneider wrote on his personal Facebook account that his special election ballot did not have the election date clearly labeled and called on Fontes to make it easier to find.

In a comment on the post, Fontes asked Schneider why he deleted his original comment, to which Schneider responded, “I do not tolerate condescension and rudeness. You will address me in a respectful manner or not at all. Your choice.”

Fontes then unleashed on Schneider, telling him “not to criticize” if he cannot handle a “little social media heat.”

“How about you go F-yourself. If you can’t handle a little social media heat, then don’t criticize,” he said. “…by the way, is your Mom also running your campaign? She seems to solve all your other problems.”

(Screenshot)

In a later comment, Fontes said his response was “not only appropriate but deserved.”

“If he wants to be in public office, he needs to stand-up. …and as for my stature, it’s less important that I am elected than the work of my staff is defended with vigor.”

“His little passive-aggressive assault against my staff and the work they do deserves no less,” Fontes said.

But in the Facebook video posted to his account, Fonte said his comments reflected frustration and apologized to his staff members and supporters for lashing out.

“I got this wrong, I can’t take it back,” he said. “I’m sorry I let you down.”

Fontes was elected to the job last year after beating out Helen Purcell in the general election and promised better representation and communication with voters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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