The county recorder is not someone you’d take to dinner

Stephen Richer’s political life has gone the way he didn’t really anticipate

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer speaks at a press conference May 17 to defend his staff against “defamatory lies” spread as the Arizona Senate conducts its audit of the 2020 election./Screenshot

By Dillon Rosenblatt | Arizona Capitol Times

There’s a lot of unintentional irony surrounding Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.  

He first became known in political circles for auditing the office he now controls when it was occupied by his predecessor and political opponent Adrian Fontes in 2019. Now he’s becoming a national figure as he speaks out about the Senate audit of the 2020 election, which Maricopa County Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers calls “a grift disguised as an audit.” 

Richer, who was a corporate transactional lawyer before seeking his first political office in 2020, made sure to point out that what he did and what the Arizona Senate is doing could not be more different.  

“I think you would find that the ‘F’ word is not mentioned once in the (audit) report,” he said referring to accusations of “fraud” from the election where he won by 4,599 votes. “Mine was entirely based on news reports, statutes and interviews. I did not jump to a single conclusion, and where conclusions could not be drawn, I acknowledge as such.” 

After nearly five months in public office, Richer, a conservative Republican who identifies as a “hardcore libertarian,” is still relatively unknown outside of a handful of tweets and recent media appearances. 

He’s a nerd at heart who has found a great obsession with his face buried in a book, usually in the fantasy fiction genre. He said he reads a lot and it became a big part of his life growing up. 

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