PHOENIX, Ariz.—Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem said he earned the title “Arizona’s most dangerous man” because he stands for election integrity.
At a rally on Nov. 3, he pledged systemic change in ballot voting to a cheering crowd: “Paper ballots—counted at the precinct level—on election day.”
“They call me a dangerous man for one reason. I asked questions you asked me to ask on Nov. 30, 2020,” following the contested 2020 presidential election, said Finchem, the Republican candidate for secretary of state.
The rally at Foothills Golf Club in Phoenix on Nov. 3 hosted three other Donald Trump-endorsed Republicans in the midterm election—Kari Lake for governor, Blake Masters for U.S. Senate, and Abe Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general.
Finchem, wearing a campaign cap, described his recent encounter with Twitter censors who suspended his account on Oct. 31 for precisely 41 minutes.
“One of my posts offended somebody in the halls of Twitterdom, and they banned us. They put us in Twitter jail.”
But a quick call to Twitter drew the attention of new owner Elon Musk.
“His response—immediately, by the way—was, ‘I’m going to look into this.’ Forty-one minutes later, we were reinstated,” Finchem said to applause, “… but wait, there’s more.
“We started the day with 52,000 followers on Twitter. We’re now up to 74,000 and some change. It is an example of how it backfires every time the Democrats come out and try to do something to control the narrative.”
Finchem said the Twitter debacle indicates change on the horizon—not only at Twitter but across the country in what he sees as a “red tsunami” of Republican electoral victories on Nov. 8.
“We know that Independents are breaking our way. We’re going to see a tsunami of red on voting day,” Finchem told The Epoch Times.
“You’ve got people coming along who don’t trust the postal service. They don’t trust the drop boxes. So they’re going to do it the old-school way [voting in person]. It’s an organic change.”
Finchem is also confident of victory—though he and Democratic opponent Adrian Fontes, former Maricopa County Recorder, are currently neck and neck in the polls.
The current secretary of state is Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for governor.
Finchem said if elected, he’d seek to make it a requirement that the secretary of state steps down when seeking another political office, comparing the situation to playing on a baseball team and owning the team.
Referring to Republicans who support his opponent, Finchem said they call him a “dangerous man” because he supports using paper ballots and more stringent ballot safeguards.
“I’ve had some people tell me that is an irresponsible [position]. So I’m going to put it to a vote,” he said, addressing the audience.
“What’s more irresponsible—that proposal or the continued use of the machine [where] we cannot validate the software? [Where] we can’t inspect the software, and the system runs by unaccountable, unelected government contractors, who have a level of security over elections greater than the people you elected to run elections?”
“Which one is more irresponsible—A or B?”
“B!” the audience shouted.
“Thank you very much,” Finchem said.