County Recorder teases, curses candidate in Facebook feud

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Adrian Fontes got into a Facebook feud with a candidate. (Source: Facebook) Adrian Fontes got into a Facebook feud with a candidate. (Source: Facebook)

Maricopa County Recorder, Adrian Fontes, says he wants to “move on” after a discussion on Facebook devolved into bickering and teasing. 

It started with an Oct. 29 post by State House District 13 candidate Nathan Schneider.

“It took me a while to find the election date, because it isn’t labeled,” wrote Schneider on his own Facebook page. “The public should not be forced to make assumptions when voting. Adrian Fontes doesn’t listen to me, but if any of you have his ear, maybe you could ask him why they are not labeling the Election Day on the ballot and making it more legible, easier to find, and easier to identify.”

 Turns out Fontes was listening.

“Why did you delete my response Nathan Schneider?” said Fontes in a comment below the post.

The argument then escalated.

“How about you go F-yourself,” wrote Fontes. “If you can’t handle a little social media heat, then don’t criticize. By the way, is your Mom also running your campaign? She seems to solve all your problems.”

Schneider responds to the teasing with another comment.

“Low standards and unprofessional conduct by Arizona’s elected officials is exactly why we are having problems. Help raise the quality of discourse and lead by example,” wrote Schneider.

Many Facebook users saw the exchange, and some of them questioned the County recorder’s conduct. Maricopa County has a professional conduct policy that states “employees shall not engage in actions or conduct, including through any form of social media, that could bring disrepute or embarrassment to the County, its departments, agencies, or districts, unless it involves a matter of public concern.”

All members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors refused to comment on the social media feud.

A spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Recorder said Fontes was not available for an interview Tuesday, but forwarded a statement from Fontes addressing his social media conduct as well as Schneider’s concern about the ballots.

“I could have responded differently and now I would like to move on. The most important thing is to remain focused on running these elections and ensuring voters are participating in their democracy. Voters have until tomorrow, November 1, to mail back their ballots or they must return them to a ballot center by 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 7.

“The green affidavit envelopes are printed in bulk to serve multiple election cycles. I recognize the importance of keeping voters informed, which is why the ballots have the date of the election printed on them. We are always open to improving our voter communication. Additionally, the mailing included a separate message highlighting important dates and information.”

Messages requesting comment from Schneider were not returned.

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