Adrian Fontes addresses supporters after AP projects him to be Arizona’s next secretary of state

The Associated Press called the race on Friday night.
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:21 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 2:52 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes will take over for fellow Democrat Katie Hobbs as the projected winner of the Arizona Secretary of State race, according to the Associated Press. Fontes maintained his lead over Republican Mark Finchem since the first numbers dropped on election night. The Associated Press called the race on Friday night. As of 8 p.m., Fontes has 1,129,144 votes, or 53%, compared to Finchem’s 1,011,019 votes, or 47%. “This is a resounding rebuke of Trumpism, and the big lie, and we will not go back,” Fontes told Arizona’s Family.

Fontes thanked his supporters on Twitter after the race was called. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego also tweeted out her congratulations. “Breathing a sigh of relief knowing you’ll be at the helm defending democracy in Arizona. Such a well-deserved win!” she said.

He also addressed supporters Monday morning, stating that while the state continues to await official canvass results, and while dozens of other statewide races, he remains confident in his lead and with the call from various news agencies.

Fontes was the top election official for Maricopa County when elected as county recorder in 2016. He campaigned on his experience running elections. “For the most part, Arizona has a phenomenal election system,” said Fontes.

Fontes had said Finchem represented a danger to democracy if he had won. The secretary of state, working with the governor and attorney general, has broad authority to rewrite the state’s election rules and plays a role in the certification of results. Finchem had emerged as one of the most prominent Republicans running for secretary of state positions around the country who falsely claimed that Biden was not elected legitimately. He had argued for significant changes to Arizona’s elections after Biden won the state in 2020 and had been endorsed by Trump.

After winning the state’s primary election in August, Finchem said he wanted to restore the rule of law to elections in the state, declaring: “Right now, we have lawlessness.” There was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections, including in Arizona, where reviews of the voting upheld Biden’s narrow victory.

Fontes’s plans

Abortion has been a key issue for liberal-leaning voters. With Roe v. Wade struck down, Fontes says the Arizona Address Confidentiality Program needs to be updated to reflect a “woman’s fundamental right to privacy and to make decisions about her healthcare.”

That program provides a substitute address for mail-forwarding for women who need protection from being found by domestic violent partners or stalkers. In a draft policy posted on the campaign’s website, Fontes addresses how it hopes to update the program to disallow law enforcement from obtaining medical information.

Other items on the Fontes agenda include updating the state’s Election Procedures manual with additional cybersecurity measures and more.

Fontes is a former Marine and local prosecutor who staked his campaign on pledges to protect voting rights. He lost his seat as Maricopa County recorder after one term to a Republican in 2020. Arizona’s secretary of state race was one of several around the country featuring Republican candidates who pushed a variety of election conspiracy theories to promote the false claim that former President Donald Trump was cheated out of reelection. Many of those candidates ended up losing, including those in Michigan and New Mexico, although several went on to win the posts in heavily Republican states.