Trump-Backed Arizona Candidate Says He Won't Concede if He Loses on Tuesday

·2 min read
Mark Finchem
Mark Finchem

Ross D Franklin/AP/Shutterstock Mark Finchem

An Arizona representative running for secretary of state and backed by Donald Trump is taking a cue from the former president: boldly claiming that, even if he loses Tuesday's Arizona primary, he will refuse to concede.

Republican Mark Finchem has made Trump's claims of voter fraud a core part of his platform — both as a candidate for Arizona secretary of state and as a state representative.

He has said he wants to ban early voting, co-sponsored a bill that would allow the state's Republican-led legislature the ability to overturn election results, and is currently gathering signatures on a petition that says it would decertify the state's 2020 election results, despite the fact that a petition cannot legally overturn them (and despite the fact that several lawsuits and audits have confirmed Trump's loss in Arizona).

But he also says he himself will refuse to concede if he loses his own election Tuesday.

Axios reports that, at a June fundraiser, 65-year-old Finchem said, "Ain't gonna be no concession speech coming from this guy. I'm going to demand a 100% hand count if there's the slightest hint that there's an impropriety. And I will urge the next governor to do the same."

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — another Trump ally whom the former president has endorsed — echoed those comments, telling the crowd at the event, "[Trump] did not concede, and I think that was really smart because that was the most dirty, filthy, rotten election I've ever seen."

Video: Clarence Thomas' wife Ginni urged for overturning 2022 election

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The New York Times reports that a recent poll shows Finchem with a slight edge in the four-way Republican race, though the outlet notes that a significant majority of voters are still undecided.

Finchem — who has in the past identified himself as a member of the Oath Keepers militia group — marched to the Capitol alongside other Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol riots.

He has said he did not enter the Capitol building, but he has been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the events of that day.

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Despite losing both the electoral and popular votes in 2020, Trump has continued to claim that he won the 2020 election. CNN reports that in a speech delivered last week, the former president claimed the election was "very corrupt."

"I ran for president. I won. Then I won a second time — did much better the second time," Trump said. "What a disgrace it was."