Election denier Mark Finchem got 'owned' in Arizona Secretary of State debate: columnist
Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem speaking with attendees at rally for Donald Trump in Florence on Jan. 15, 2022. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Trump-backed election denier running to be Arizona Secretary of State raised eyebrows after revealing in a Thursday evening debate he has been interviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On Thursday, GOP state Rep. Mark Finchem faced off against former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, the Democratic Party nominee, in a debate moderated by host Ted Simons and co-host Richard Ruelas.

In an analysis for The Washington Post, Philip Bump wrote, "there is no evidence of fraud in Arizona, in Maricopa County in particular. There have been no arrests, or even credible allegations, of any rampant illegality; there has been no evidence presented showing undeniable flaws in the system. Nor has there ever been."

"That latter qualifier is important because it overlaps with another point of debate on Thursday: Finchem’s presence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021," Bump continued. "Fontes, not unexpectedly, repeatedly noted that Finchem was present at the scene of the riot that day, though Finchem has insisted he didn’t know it was underway. (He would also later say he heard the riot was caused by antifa, which it wasn’t.) Asked about being there after the debate, he reiterated what he’d said in a statement at the time: He was 'there to deliver an evidence package to Rep. Paul Gosar' (R-AZ)."

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In the debate, Finchem repeatedly cited Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, who responded in a Friday column.

"Thursday night’s face-off between the two men who want to run Arizona’s elections showed exactly why debates are important," Roberts wrote. "The contrast could not have been clearer. One man was calm, measured, steady. The other sounded, at times, unhinged as he spouted conspiracy theories about many ways in which the 2020 election was 'irredeemably compromised.'"

Roberts noted Finchem's answer when he was asked why his August 2022 primary was legitimate while he contends the 2020 election was rigged.

“What changed? The candidates. I have no idea," Finchem said.

Roberts attempted to summarize his position, writing, "In other words, because the 'right' people won, this election was legitimate?"

Roberts concluded Fontes, "owned Finchem in this debate."

Following the debate, Finchem complained about the "paparazzi" chasing him.

Watch the debate below or at this link.

Arizona Horizon election debates 2022: Secretary of State www.youtube.com