I know it’s hot in Arizona, and climate change is hitting us all hard, but damn, it seems as if Republican voters’ brains are being fried in the sun. In addition to voting for election-denier Kari Lake for governor and Trump-endorsed far-right candidate Blake Masters for Senate, GOPers in the Grand Canyon state are also backing Mark Finchem—a QAnon conspiracy theorist and proud member of the Oath Keepers—for secretary of state.
Finchem, 57, who attended former President Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 but denied going inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection, will oversee the state’s elections in 2024 if elected.
As reported on CNN, the Trump-endorsed nominee who spoke at a QAnon convention has called the COVID-19 vaccine a “crime against humanity” and hinted that it was a “bio-weapon.” But he’s posted his most outrageous commentary on the social media platform Pinterest, which is most commonly known for DIY crafts, beauty hacks, and design tips.
RELATED STORY: Heading into midterm elections, Georgia officials fear a frightening shortage of poll workers
One of Finchem’s mood boards is titled “Treason Watch List” and features a slew of photos of leaders the nominee has connected to a variety of oddball conspiracies. Another is titled “Thought Provoking,” where he compares Democrats to Nazis, per CNN.
According to an opinion piece by Dana Milbank for The Washington Post, Finchem was endorsed by prominent antisemite and founder and CEO of the media site Gab, Andrew Torba. The Arizona Mirror reports that Torba is consulting on Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano’s campaign. Mastriano crossed police barricades in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Finchem has been a vocal denier of Trump’s loss in 2020 to President Joe Biden. He has said that early voting should be banned and mail-in ballots restricted. He has sued to try to end the use of electronic vote-counting machines in Arizona, where he was financially backed by My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell, according to The New York Times.
Trump has called Finchem “the kind of fighter we need,” adding (in his characteristically strangely capitalized way) that Finchem “will bring Integrity back to our Elections.”
Finchem was also endorsed by leading Oath Keeper and former Sheriff Richard Mack.
But Finchem is just one of many far-right conspiracists to attack our elections.
Politico reports that the Republican National Committee has been recruiting and training thousands of 2020 election deniers to crew the polls in battleground states, all under the guise of “election integrity.”
In taped recordings obtained by Politico of organizing summits held in Florida and Pennsylvania, conservative elections attorney Cleta Mitchell was heard discussing how the RNC needs to challenge work by Democrats to build a “new American majority”—work that would include registering more voters of color.
“It’s a place the left sees as a great target of opportunity, and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Mitchell said.
Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.