GOP lawmaker backs Adrian Fontes over Mark Finchem to lead elections

Secretary of State candidates Mark Finchem, on the left, and Adrian Fontes, on the right, during a debate Thursday night, televised on Arizona PBS. Screenshot via Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission || Arizona PBS

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy || Arizona Mirror

A GOP legislator on Thursday endorsed Adrian Fontes, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state, over a member of his own caucus who has built his campaign on false and evidence-free claims that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump. 

“Most people are closer to the middle than they are to the extremes,” Republican state Rep. Joel John said in an interview with  Arizona Mirror. “The extremes on either end are the minority, and it is time for people to focus on policy and what is best for the state instead of on party power or political power.”

In a statement released by Fontes’ campaign, John said he was endorsing Fontes over the GOP nominee, state Rep. Mark Finchem. He said that Finchem’s desire to end mail in voting and Finchem’s desire to overturn the results of the 2020 election were disqualifying. 

While speaking with the Mirror, John also cited Finchem’s attendance on January 6 as a point of concern. 

“It is, frankly, frightening having someone like that be a heartbeat away from the 9th Floor,” John said, referring to the physical location of the Governor’s Office at the state Capitol. In Arizona, the secretary of state is the first in line to be governor. 

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