Adrian Fontes wins extremely contested secretary of state in Arizona | Arizona

The victory of Adrian Fontes, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state in Arizona, could come to be seen as one of the vital vital outcomes of the 2022 elections when it comes to the way forward for American democracy.

Fontes, a former Marine, managed to fend off one of the vital contentious Republican election deniers in a bitterly fought and exceedingly shut race. His opponent, Mark Finchem, is a state lawmaker who has been a member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia and was current on the US Capitol on the day of the 6 January 2021 rebellion.

Finchem has made repeated efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Arizona within the 2020 election, in favor of his idol Donald Trump.

By irritating Finchem’s efforts to safe the secretary of state place, Fontes has prevented each native and federal election administration in Arizona falling into the arms of an avid opponent of democratic norms. Had Finchem come out on prime, as some polls steered he may within the closing stretch of the marketing campaign, he would have been positioned to radically alter Arizona’s dealing with of elections and will even have subverted the end result of the 2024 presidential battle.

In an interview with the Guardian shortly earlier than election day, Fontes stated {that a} Finchem victory would have threatened “the destiny of the republic, and the free world too for those who settle for that America continues to be its chief”.

As Arizona’s secretary of state-elect, Fontes will now turn into second in line of succession to the governor. He can be in a powerful place to affect how elections are performed within the state, together with the presidential race in two years’ time wherein Trump has indicated he’s minded to face once more.

In his bid to voters, Fontes promised that had been he to win he would protect mail-in voting, a preferred approach of casting ballots in Arizona that Finchem had threatened to limit claiming with out proof that it was riddled with fraud.

Fontes is not any stranger to electoral disputes. In 2020 he was the recorder of Maricopa, Arizona’s most populous county, which put him on the centre of the storm over the election rely there wherein Republicans demanded a much-derided “audit” of the rely.