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A “Stop the Steal” Trumper Steps Closer to Controlling Arizona’s Elections

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Mark Finchem portrays himself as just a run-of-the-mill ex-cop and rancher. He is indeed an ex-cop who currently ranches outside of Tucson, Arizona, but the hat he now wears is far different.

These days, the four-term state legislator is one of the state’s most preeminent “Stop the Steal” conspiracists. He’s also, as of Tuesday of this week, the GOP’s candidate to be the next secretary of state. He beat out three other competitors in the primary, after having received Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement.” If he goes on to be elected as secretary of state in the general election in November, the position would give him pretty much unfettered power to undermine the integrity of upcoming elections in Arizona, including the all-important presidential vote in 2024.

Originally from Detroit, Finchem moved to Arizona years back, and remade himself as a desert uber-conservative. Pick an issue, and he’s on the far right side of it. He opposes gun control legislation but supports curtailing violent video games instead. In 2019, he introduced legislation designed to curb “politicking” in the classroom, essentially an anti-union effort in a state where teachers had recently carried out a successful campaign for higher wages. He has argued that paper money is now “worthless,” that gold and silver should be made legal currency, and that people hording gold coins shouldn’t be taxed on the profits they make on the precious metal. A few years back, in a particularly twisted political stunt, he cosponsored legislation that would have required doctors to try to resuscitate aborted fetuses. He has pushed for gun owners to be able to carry concealed weapons into public buildings and schools, for builders to be able to erect border walls along the U.S.-Mexico border without permits, and for exempting religious organizations from property taxes.

For nearly two years, Finchem, who attended the January 6........

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