How Adrian Fontes plans to protect Arizona’s elections from ‘MAGA fascists’

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The Democrat who defeated a hard-right extremist in the midterms to be Arizona’s next secretary of state doesn’t mince his words, The Guardian reports.

Adrian Fontes will be inaugurated on Jan. 5 as the secretary of state for Arizona. There will be no luxuriating over his appointment, no glitzy made-for-media plans for the first 100 days.

“I don’t have time for those kinds of things, I’ve just got to get to work,” he said.

The massive sense of urgency is completely understandable. 

As secretary of state, Fontes will be responsible for overseeing all statewide elections in Arizona. 

Arizona found itself at the frontline of efforts to subvert democracy n the wake of Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Republicans staged a widely derided “audit” of the count and attempted to send fake electors to Washington.

That includes federal elections. The 2024 presidential election is looming and quickly approaching, in which Trump is attempting a comeback during his third run for the White House. 

Arizona counties are already preparing for the battle, with primary elections to select the two main parties’ nominees only 15 months away.

There continues to be a threat to democracy unleashed by Trump in a huge legal campaign after the 2020 presidential election to overturn his defeat and then in 2021’s January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Fontes has more experience dealing with crises than most. 

In November’s midterm elections he fought against and defeated, Mark Finchem, one of the most notorious election deniers who was also present at the Capitol at the January 6 violent insurrection. 

‘MAGA fascists’ is Fontes’ preferred terminology for “election deniers”.

It indicates how Fontes plans to shore up democracy in his new role as Arizona’s secretary of state.

“I use the words ‘MAGA fascists’ because it’s the truth,” he said. “These people are not Grand Old Party Republicans; they are MAGA fascists. There is no reason for me to call them by anything other than what they are. If they feel a little sensitive about that, then maybe they ought to reconsider their position vis-a-vis American democracy and stop acting like fascists.”

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