ORO VALLEY (KVOA) - A new recall effort is being made against Republican State Rep. Mark Finchem, who represents Oro Valley.
The group Rural Arizona Action filed a recall petition against Rep. Finchem with the Arizona Secretary of State on March 10.
Co-Executive Director Pablo Correa said he believes the voters should get a choice to remove Finchem after his support of the “Stop the Steal” movement and accusations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“We talked with folks on the ground to see what they wanted to do about it, we had just come out of an election season," Correa said. "We do believe voters have the right to choose our elected officials. He was chosen by the voters. We feel the actions he took Jan. 6 kind of changed that.”
Finchem has been the center of controversy the past few months after attending a “Stop the Steal” rally outside the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, which turned violent as some attendees stormed the capital building.
Finchem has admitted to being in Washington D.C. during the events but said he took no part in the violence.
State Democrats filed an ethics complaint in February. It failed to move forward.
In response, Finchem filed an ethics complaint against just about all democrats in the legislature but his efforts also failed. Bonnie Heidler is the Chairwoman for Pima County Democrats, she believes Finchem violated his oath of office.
“He showed up at the insurrection. It appears he was actually paid to be at the insurrection by then President [Trump]," Heidler said. There are some reasons why he should be removed.”
A political watchdog group called Campaign for Accountability sent a letter urging the Secretary of State to investigate Finchem for allegedly accepting more than $6,000 in December 2020 from former President Trump for "Recount legal consulting.” According to Campaign for Accountability, the request was made under a business name Mrk Finchem Pllc. The group said he never listed the payment in his financial disclosures. There is no evidence tying the payment to the insurrection.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators offered Mark Finchem an opportunity to share his side of the story, in an email he said "No comment on advice of legal counsel.”
Rep. Finchem has claimed he has evidence of voter fraud during the election but all these months later has yet to present any of it.
The N4T Investigators reached out to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to see if he has made them aware of any evidence. A spokesperson named Ryan Anderson sent us the following statement:
“Representative Finchem has not met with investigators from our office to discuss allegations of voter fraud related to the 2020 election. If anyone has evidence of voter fraud, they are encouraged to contact our investigators and present the evidence.”
The recall effort will not be easy. Rural Arizona Action needs around 25,000 signatures to move forward with the recall. All signatures must be from people who live in Finchem’s District 11 and are due on July 8, 2021.
“It’s a historic effort. A recall of that size has never been done," Correa said. "The last comparable recall and only recall in Arizona history was just over 7,000 signatures. So gathering those signatures from a rural area is going to take a large effort.”
The Pima County Republican Party is not worried about it. Chairwoman Shelley Kais expects it to fail.
“While I understand there’s always an interest in getting more seats in the legislature, I don’t think there’s any grounds for this,” Kais said.
She stands by Mark Finchem.
“I have absolutely no issue with someone voicing their First Amendment rights," Kais said. "He absolutely has the right to believe what he believes and to say so."
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