Donald Trump endorsed state Rep. Mark Finchem in the crowded Republican primary for secretary of state, throwing his support behind a candidate who one of Arizona's most vocal proponents of the false allegations that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
In an endorsement statement he issued on Monday, Trump called Finchem “a true warrior" and lauded him for spreading discredited fraud claims about the election.
“Mark was willing to say what few others had the courage to say. In addition to his incredibly powerful stance on the massive Voter Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, he is strong on Crime, Borders, our currently under siege Second Amendment, and loves our Military and our Vets. Mark will also be fighting hard for further Tax and Regulation Cuts," Trump said. “Mark Finchem has my Complete and Total Endorsement. He will never let the people of Arizona down!"
Finchem tweeted that the endorsement was, “Such a great honor!"
The Oro Valley Republican, who was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2014, helped organize a November meeting in Phoenix where Trump allies aired unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the election. And a nonprofit organization he runs called the Guardian Defense Fund has provided security for the self-styled “audit" of the election in Maricopa County that Senate President Karen Fann ordered.
Finchem also attended the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., that led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. Finchem claimed he was never closer than 500 yards of the Capitol building, but footage that surfaced months later showed him walking in front of the east steps after the pro-Trump rioters breached the barricades outside of the Capitol.
Jenna Ellis, a former Trump campaign attorney who promoted the debunked election fraud claims, endorsed Finchem last week. Finchem credit Ellis with helping him get the former president's endorsement, tweeting on Monday, “Thank you, Jenna! Your endorsement before this one was yuge."
Finchem did not respond to a request for comment from the Arizona Mirror.
State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, advertising executive Beau Lane and state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita are vying with Finchem for the Republican nomination in the race for Arizona secretary of state. House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes are seeking the Democratic nomination.
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