Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) faced off against Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in a debate Thursday evening hosted by Clean Elections on KAET PBS. Most of the lively exchange focused on the candidates’ stark differences regarding voter fraud, with Fontes more dismissive and Finchem stating election integrity is a priority.
Finchem said in his opening statement that he is running due to what’s happened to the office under the current officeholder, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. He said he wants to “restore honor, integrity, and security” to the position. “It’s not up to the secretary of state to make the law, they enforce the law that’s already laid down.” In addition to other controversies, Hobbs has been involved in a high-profile legal dispute with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for making changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual that Brnovich asserts are outside of her authority.
A new poll from The Trafalgar Group shows Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona secretary of state, more than six points ahead of his opponent, Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Conducted between September 14 and 17, the survey of 1,080 likely voters by the Republican-aligned pollster found that 47.5 percent chose Finchem and 41.1 percent chose Fontes.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has come under fire for her handling of the electronic system used to collect online signatures for political candidates, E-Qual. The system was not updated to accommodate new redistricting, which has made it very difficult for campaigns to collect enough signatures in time to make the ballot this fall. On March 17, Hobbs took the entire system offline, making it impossible to collect any signatures at all online, so Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre on March 29 to “investigate and take any appropriate enforcement actions (civil and criminal).”
McIntyre told the Arizona Sun Times, “I can confirm that we have received the request and begun the investigative process.”
Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, is calling for the Arizona Legislature to impeach Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich. The former county elections chief said it is due to Brnovich’s “grotesque political self-service, abuse of office, and other bad acts.”
Fontes declared, “It is well past time for Arizona’s legislative leadership to investigate, for possible impeachment proceedings, the increasing instability of our state’s top prosecutor.”
A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows former news anchor Kari Lake with the highest approval rate of Republicans running for governor of Arizona and Attorney General Mark Brnovich with the highest approval rate of Republicans running for the U.S. Senate. Lake scored 60% with Republican voters, well ahead of former Congressman Matt Salmon with 51% and former State Treasurer Kimberly Yee at 49%. On the Senate side, Brnovich has 61% compared to veteran Michael McGuire next with 43% and businessman Jim Lamon’s 39%. Blake Masters, a protege of GOP tech billionaire Peter Thiel, entered the race after the poll was conducted.
According to a general election matchup, Hobbs’ approval rating is slightly higher than Lake’s, 40% to 39%. Hobbs has very high name recognition due to her high-profile fight against the Maricopa County ballot audit. Hobbs also has a fairly high disapproval rating relative to the other candidates in the poll, 27%. She once referred to Donald Trump supporters as “neo-Nazis.” She also tweeted “The President is on the side of the freaking Nazis. Don’t just say stuff – DO SOMETHING!!!” She has not deleted the tweets.