Red flags raised by Arizona GOP consultants over 'dangerous' Trump-backed election deniers
Kari Lake (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

With Arizonans headed to the polls on Tuesday, two Republican Party campaign consultants in the state are raising red flags over the multitude of Donald Trump-aligned 2020 election deniers who look like they will survive to be on the general election ballot in November.

According to a report from the Guardian, Arizona has been a hotbed of conspiracy-driven election denialism from the fringes since 2020 and now voters could be on the verge of making several high-profile proponents of the so-called "Big Lie" the standard bearers of the state party.

Of main concern are the candidacies of former news anchor Kari Lake for governor and far-right lawmaker Mark Finchem for secretary of state -- a position experts point out where he could have a major impact on future elections.

According to Politico, "Finchem, an Arizona state lawmaker, is running with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in Tuesday’s Republican primary for secretary of state there. He has support from a coalition of other like-minded candidates running to be election administrators in their own states, which has gained traction in several other close 2020 swing states. And Finchem has a significant edge in a rare public poll of the secretary of state race published Friday."

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That has Arizona GOP campaign consultant Barrett Marson alarmed.

“It’s a dangerous time for elections because you have a couple of people who are relying on people to vote for them but then will turn around and say the election system is rigged despite the lack of any evidence as such. There’s no talk of policy or anything. It’s all looking backward to 2020,” he lamented. “This issue has staying power, much to my chagrin and a lot of other people.”

Republican operative Lorna Romero pointed with alarm at Oath Keeper Finchem as the top official overseeing elections, telling the Guardian, "Am I surprised that somebody who questions the 2020 election would want to run for secretary of state? No, not really. His whole standpoint is he wants to eliminate the fraud from the system, and it’s a good talking point for him for those who believe the 2020 election was stolen.”

Marson added, "His reputation wasn’t great. People didn’t much like working with him. He was a back-bencher is probably the best way to describe it.”

Speaking of Lake, Arizona GOP consultant Chuck Coughlin said there is more going on than just this election to worry about.

“This is populism. This is just pure populism for populism’s sake, and her desire to be popular. You have a referendum, if you will, in the governor’s race, on which part of the party are you supporting. The pragmatic, want-to-govern conservative – or Trump. You have a significant war going on there," he warned.

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