Adrian Fontes says Arizona needs a serious secretary of state, not a conspiracy theorist
Sep 20, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 10:25 am
(Facebook Photo/Adrian Fontes)
PHOENIX — Democratic candidate Adrian Fontes said Arizona would benefit from electing a secretary of state who takes the position seriously, as opposed to a conspiracy theorist.
He and Republican nominee Mark Finchem were subjects in a Time Magazine story that published Tuesday about those running for office who believe the baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and their competitors.
Fontes was featured prominently.
Finchem is quoted in the story questioning how President Joe Biden won in Arizona when the Republican nominee personally cannot find anyone who voted for Biden.
“It’s obvious that I think he was either exaggerating or just being foolish, or he’s never been to Tucson,” Fontes said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Tuesday afternoon.
“But the bottom line is this, we can’t just be foolish and silly about these things. This is a serious position. It’s a heartbeat away from the governor’s office, and for him to say stuff like that when he wants to be the chief election officer in the state, it’s embarrassing.”
Fontes said Arizona needs people in positions of power who believe in the truth and data.
He noted that disagreements on policy are normal, but having conspiracy theorists is potentially dangerous. The Democratic nominee said Finchem doesn’t represent all Republicans as an extremist.
“It’s really scary and it’s dangerous for Arizona’s economy,” Fontes said.
“It’s dangerous because we’ve got things like our tourism industry, our business industry, education, law, sciences, all of these things depend on having a reasonable, rational government. And (Finchem) doesn’t represent that.”
A focal point for Fontes was the issue of vote-by-mail, as Finchem has been an avid opponent of it.
Mail-in voting is the most popular way Arizonans cast ballots, and the economic and logistical challenges of eliminating the option are major concerns for Fontes.
“It’s outrageous to think that you’re going to force people to stand in line on the exact same day, that means everybody,” Fontes said. “You’re going to force people not to have the option to vote by mail. Where are we going to put all the polling sites?”
Fontes said there would be a scramble to find possibly thousands more polling places across the state, which would cost a lot of money.
The Time story, which is the cover story of the magazine, highlights Fontes as a public servant fighting to protect the election system, as the United States is at a crossroads entering November’s midterm elections.