ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KVOA) - A recall petition against Arizona District 11 Representative, Mark Finchem, has been gaining signatures, now surpassing 10,000 according to Rural Arizonans for Accountability (RAZA).
The support is still well below the needed 24,000 signatures needed by July.
According to RAZA, Finchem is threatening legal action against them.
In a press release, RAZA said that a letter from Finchem’s attorneys demands that Rural Arizonans for Accountability destroy all campaign materials Finchem “incorrectly” deems “defamatory” and publish retractions in local newspapers. If not, Finchem’s lawyers promise to sue.
RAZA issued the following response:
Mark Finchem lacks integrity, spreads dangerous conspiracy theories, and is an ineffective legislator. Our communities and our families deserve better, and that is why we are working tirelessly to remove Finchem from office. Threats by big money lawyers will not scare us away from recalling a dishonest politician that believes he is too important to do the job voters just hired him to do. Finchem’s attempt to silence us --his constituents-- from telling the truth about him, underlines the importance of holding him accountable and removing him from office.
We hope that instead of pursuing this frivolous lawsuit, Mr. Finchem comes home to District 11 and does something he seems reluctant to do, work to improve the lives of his constituents.
We aren’t holding our breath, though. Instead of doing his job, Mark Finchem seems more interested lately in spending his time up in Maricopa County, appearing on any internet show that allows him to raise money for his new campaign for Secretary of State or into the dark money slush fund he uses to threaten lawsuits against those who dare speak the truth about him.
Threats won’t deter us, and we will keep working every single day to hold Mark Finchem accountable and remove him from office.
We urge everyone to visit us online at https://recallfinchem.com to learn more about our campaign and to join our effort.”
RAZA has volunteers regularly manning tents at various locations to try and gather signatures, as News 4 Tucson saw outside the Oro Valley Library one hot afternoon.
The main issue behind the recall is due to Finchem being present in Washington D.C. during the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
Finchem said he was not involved in breaching the Capitol. Now newly uncovered social media posts are being used by RAZA to make its case against Finchem.
On Gab, a social media site that has gained popularity among the far-right, Finchem shared a post in February suggesting the late actor Paul Walker was taken out by the Clintons, commenting “another Clintoncide.”
In another post, he called Biden an illegitimate president, attacked the media and embedded a Dec. 7, 2019 message from “Q”, which is tied to the controversial far-right QAnon conspiracy. This has Oro Valley resident Dana Offerman now supporting the recall.
“He’s a flamethrower. He’s very radical, and I don’t think most people are radical and want that kind of extremism,” Offerman said.
Finchem hasn’t lost support from the Pima County GOP.
“Republicans are not focused on this we are focused on reopening our businesses, getting people back to work, getting our children back in school,” said Pima County GOP Chairwoman Shelley Kais.
Finchem has declined our repeated requests for an interview saying, “No comment on advice of legal counsel.”
On May 1 Finchem made a nearly two-hour appearance on the podcast Redpill 78, which RAZA said supports QAnon.
“We have people in Pima County who were denied ballots because 'we mailed you a ballot’ well we never got it,” Finchem said on the podcast.
Finchem wasn’t asked about the recall or any posts he’s made, the majority of the discussion was surrounding the Arizona election audit.
“I’m very hopeful we are able to get to a place where we’ve got the report in hand," Finchem said. "We identify the vectors of fraud how that happened. And then we are able to improve our election process.”
The audit is overseen by the Arizona Senate, even though Finchem is making many public claims about the audit, Senate Liaison Ken Benett told reporters this week he has never seen Finchem having discussions with the auditors.
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