Adrian Fontes (KTAR Photo/Ali Vetnar)
PHOENIX – The Democrats have their first candidate in the race to become Arizona's next secretary of state: former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
Fontes, who lost his reelection bid in the state's largest county last year, announced his intention to run for the statewide position in 2022 with a short Twitter video on Friday morning.
He referenced his experience, but not much else, in the simple 17-second clip.
"We're at a major crossroads in our nation and in our state," he said. "Arizona needs public officials who are going to be ready to do the job on day one."
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, opted to run for governor instead of seeking a second term in her current position.
Unless he's challenged by another Democrat, Fontes is in line to take on the winner of a Republican primary field headlined by two state lawmakers, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Rep. Mark Finchem.
In a tweet from Thursday, Fontes called Finchem a "traitor clown" for his presence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Finchem has acknowledged attending the rally in Washington that day but says he didn't enter the building when it was overrun by supporters of Donald Trump.
The Kalamazoo Cowboy is not satisfied pretending he's an "out west" guy…now he wants to pretend he has an idea about how elections work.Traitor clown marches on 1/6, deserves nothing but distain from American citizens who defend our Constitution.#ProtectDemocracy https://t.co/zpl4pnE2kF
- Adrian Fontes (@Adrian_Fontes) June 11, 2021
Fontes led the 2020 Maricopa County general election that is at the center of the ongoing and polarizing audit authorized by state Senate Republicans.
He lost in that election to Republican Stephen Richer, who since taking office has staunchly defended the integrity of the election overseen by Fontes.
Secretary of state is Arizona's chief election officer and first in the line of succession to the governor.
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