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Arizona judge dismisses Finchem’s election challenge in secretary of state race

Republican Mark Finchem, a prominent election denier, filed a lawsuit seeking a redo of the election after losing to Democrat Adrian Fontes in November.
Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem  speaks on stage before a rally ahead of the midterm elections in Mesa, Arizona, U.S., October 9, 2022.
Mark Finchem at a rally ahead of the midterm elections in Mesa, Ariz. on October 9, 2022. Brian Snyder / REUTERS via Alamy

An Arizona judge on Friday dismissed Republican Mark Finchem's lawsuit seeking a new secretary of state election after he lost the race in November to Democrat Adrian Fontes.

In her ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian dismissed Finchem’s lawsuit against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, and Fontes, confirming Fontes' election win.

Following the midterm elections, lawyers for Finchem, a prominent election denier, filed the lawsuit earlier this month requesting a redo of the election and alleging that Hobbs had engaged in misconduct.

He claimed that Hobbs, the state's governor-elect, should have recused herself in the election, failed to ensure the proper certification of voting machines and had flagged posts on his Twitter account that resulted in a suspension.

The judge dismissed his misconduct allegations with prejudice — barring them from being brought back in another court — and called some of his claims "fatally flawed."

"None of these alleged acts constitutes 'misconduct' sufficient to survive dismissal," Julian wrote.

NBC News has reached out to Finchem's attorney for comment.

Finchem was among a host of GOP candidates for statewide office who had repeatedly cast doubt on Joe Biden's presidential victory or falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump in Arizona.

When Trump backed Finchem last year, he highlighted the candidate's record of defending his claims of a stolen election. “Mark was willing to say what few others had the courage to say” about the 2020 election, the former president said in offering his public support.

Finchem, as a state legislator, had introduced several resolutions seeking to decertify the results of the 2020 election in three major Arizona counties, as well as a bill that would give the Legislature the power to reject election results. He also supported a partisan review of Maricopa County’s election results, even though the review reaffirmed Biden’s victory.

He was one of numerous election deniers who fell short on Election Day. Kari Lake, the GOP candidate who lost Arizona's governor's race, filed a lawsuit this month challenging certification of the state's election results and is seeking a court order that declares her the winner.