Heading into Arizona’s primary, it is yet another Republican who claims not to believe in election results when his “side” loses who is leading in the polls. Arizona state Representative Mark Finchem is running to be in charge of… the state elections.
Naturally, Finchem was also at the domestic terrorist attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
Finchem is currently poised to win the Republican primary for secretary of state. According to OH Predictive Insights, “The undecided voters went from 72% to less than half (41%), showing ultimate support for Trump-endorsed and Republican frontrunner, Mark Finchem, who continues to hold a significant lead over his opponents. Fighting for a distant second are Beau Lane (11%), Michelle Ugenti-Rita (9%), and Shawnna Bolick (8%).”
Finchem claimed he wasn’t within 500 yards of the Capitol, but then video footage “showed Finchem walking directly in front of the east steps at the Capitol after pro-Trump rioters had already broken through a series of barricades and police lines, and then smashed their way into the Capitol building.”
Thanks to the unexpected generosity of readers, I bought the video this morning. The 4K resolution is very clear.
It’ll get compressed on Twitter. But here’s an image from the video, which appears to show Arizona lawmaker Mark Finchem at the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot. pic.twitter.com/htkjxBXIpm
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) June 1, 2021
The quality of the @GettyImages video was high enough that it allowed me to zoom in and capture these five screenshots of the man who appears to be Arizona lawmaker Mark Finchem as he made his way through the crowd on Jan. 6 at the US Capitol. pic.twitter.com/PRbTMMRGBn
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) June 1, 2021
The day before the attack, Finchem was lying to Trump supporters, saying with no evidence to support his claims, that Democrats knew the election was stolen and Trump hadn’t lost.
Trump did lose. He lost the most secure election in modern history, by a large amount of votes.
As noted by the American Independent, he is one of the most extreme among a rather disturbingly large lot of election deniers running for office under the Republican Party ticket, “In November 2020, Finchem held a sham “hearing” at an Arizona hotel with Trump’s senior legal adviser Rudy Giuliani. Trump himself called into the meeting to spread lies about the election results.”
Election denying is key to the Republican Party’s future. They can’t win on their actual policies and the propaganda is wearing thin post-Roe and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Young people aren’t buying what Republicans are selling.
So it’s not a surprise that Arizona’s Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich was still on the hunt for some evidence of election fraud. He really, really needs it to… win an election. He’s running for the Senate, you see, and Trump isn’t pleased that he hasn’t been willing to manufacture evidence of fraud proving Trump isn’t quite as big of a loser as he was in 2020.
But after his office used up “hundreds of hours” investigating allegations of dead people voting, he determined some “were so absurd the names and birth dates didn’t even match the deceased, and others included dates of death after the election.”
You remember that whole “Cyber Ninjas” expensive and outrageously invasive and improperly conducted debacle on behalf of loser Trump. An audit of Maricopa County conducted at the behest of Trump by Republicans found that Biden won by more than the official count. That had to hurt.
Being willing to lie about elections Republicans lose is now a qualifier for office for many GOP candidates.
Were they to win, *that* election wouldn’t be suspect, even if every other win in the same election is suspect. It’s all about *who* wins; not about democracy. It’s a losers’ strategy to steal power not given freely by The People.
If Arizona Republicans get Finchem into the Secretary of State’s office, he seems more than likely to be willing to cheat for them, after all, he participated in the lead up to the attack on the Capitol and incited Trump supporters at the inaccurately named “Stop the Steal” rally the day before, which was a deadly coup attempt to override a free and fair election.
Arizona is going all in on the race to help Trump and the Republican Party copy Victor Orban’s authoritarian takeover of Hungary. They’re at it in multiple ways, but one of the biggest gets is lying about elections they lose and muddying the waters until they can get a Secretary of State into office who will make elections go their way by cheating, in order that they can install themselves into office under a very thin pretense of democracy, for which only their hardcore base will fall.
All of this is should be embarrassing for Republicans, but 70% of Republicans actually believe Trump won and so have no clue that they are championing a loser and advocating that losers should be able to lie and cheat their way into office, which is an admission that their patriotism has been weaponized against them and they now believe Donald Trump is more important than the United States of America.
Image: Screen grab from January 5th streaming video of Stop the Steal rally.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.