Fontes says uncertainty in election processes has added pressure to Arizona secretary of state race

Aug 23, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:57 am

(KTAR News Photo)...

(KTAR News Photo)

(KTAR News Photo)

PHOENIX — Democratic candidate Adrian Fontes believes an injection of uncertainty into election processes has heightened the pressure on Arizona’s secretary of state race.

“Now, everybody knows who the secretary of state is and who the person who runs the elections in their counties,” Fontes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Monday.

“That’s huge pressure because you’re like, ‘hey, you know what, this last thing went so good in Maricopa County I think I’d like do it for the whole state.'”

Fontes believes the position as the state’s top elections official has always been important, but the external pressure has grown due to election deniers.

That includes Fontes’ opponent in the Nov. 8 general election, Republican Mark Finchem.

Finchem has embraced former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and has promised to upend election administration if elected.

“They’re the ones that made it a big deal,” Fontes said. “It was always a big deal, but they’re the ones that made it controversial.”

The Democrat served as Maricopa County recorder during the 2020 election. He lost his own race to Republican Stephen Richer, who has also had to fight off fraud claims from 2020 despite not being in office.

Fontes believes the inundation of false election claims is based on money.

“I can cook up all the stories I want as well if I’m going to get paid to do that,” Fontes said. “But the reality is the good people who ran the election, the Republicans and Democrats who were at the vote centers, who sat next to each other doing the adjudication … they did their job under our leadership.

“I’m really glad that they’re still doing their job.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Fontes says uncertainty in election processes has added pressure to Arizona secretary of state race