Democrat Adrian Fontes projected to become Arizona’s next secretary of state
PHOENIX — Arizonans have selected Democrat Adrian Fontes as their next secretary of state.
Fontes was projected to defeat Republican nominee Mark Finchem, according to The Associated Press on Friday.
The Democrat had 52.8% of the votes — a 128,561 vote lead — with the latest Pima and Pinal county ballot drops on Sunday.
Arizona’s largest county continues releasing votes, with the next drop expected around 6 p.m.
“I am honored to be presumptively elected Arizona’s next Secretary of State,” Fontes said in a statement. “I will make it my mission to bring us closer together than we have been during these last few years.”
Finchem appeared to not concede despite the calls.
“The media does not decide elections, the voters do,” the Republican said on Twitter.
Fontes will replace current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who made a run to become the next governor of Arizona.
Both candidates campaigned on a platform of election security, although their messages were very different.
Fontes, the former Maricopa County recorder who oversaw the 2020 election, assured voters that election systems are safe and secure.
Fontes is an attorney and former Marine who ran primary ads saying he would protect voting rights for all Arizonans and that election deniers like Finchem were making a full-fledged attack on democracy.
Finchem has asserted that the results of the 2020 election, which saw Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump in Arizona, are not legitimate despite offering no proof.
Finchem said he would not have certified the 2020 results in two of Arizona’s 15 counties because he said they were “irredeemably compromised.”
Also, Finchem was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, although he did not enter the grounds.
He acknowledged that he’s been interviewed by the Department of Justice and the congressional panel investigating the insurrection at the Capitol.
Finchem said he was there to deliver evidence to members of Congress so they could object to certifying President Joe Biden’s win.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.