2022 Arizona secretary of state race: The candidates
Here are the candidates so far in the 2022 race for Arizona secretary of state.
Katie Hobbs, the current Arizona secretary of state, has declined seeking a second term in favor of running for governor.
As the top Democrat in the Arizona House of Representatives, Bolding is often a leading voice against bills he says are designed to make it harder to vote – particularly for minority and low-income communities. Now Bolding is on the campaign trail touting his work with the nonprofit Our Voice, Our Vote, which he claims has registered more than 50,000 voters.
Shawnna Bolick made national headlines in 2021 when she sponsored a bill that would have allowed the Arizona Legislature to overrule a popular vote and declare the state’s 11 electoral votes to whoever lawmakers chose. Months later, the bill never passed, but Bolick launched her candidacy for Secretary of State, a role in which she’d continue to have influence over election policy and procedures, if not direct influence over election law. Bolick is married to Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick.
Mark Finchem, a state representative and perhaps the most fervent election-denier running for secretary of state, is basing his 2022 campaign on the 2020 election – which he’s still gathering signatures for a petition to decertify nearly two years later. Finchem’s baseless assertions that the election was rigged have earned him a valuable ally, former President Donald Trump, the man the election was allegedly rigged against.
In 2020, Fontes was a key figure in charge of election operations in Maricopa County, while also running for re-election as the county’s recorder. His loss in the race has served as a defense of the election’s integrity – why would a Democrat scheme to rig an election but lose to a Republican, some argue. Undeterred by the loss, Fontes is now running for the top election position in the state as a fierce defender of the integrity of the 2020 election, and equally fierce critic of Republicans he says are attempting to sow doubts.
Beau Lane, a Phoenix advertising executive, has been on the campaign trail in the crowded GOP primary since June 2021. It’s the first time he’s run for public office. Lane has distinguished himself from his fellow Republicans by denouncing some legislation, including bills sponsored by his primary opponents, as attempts to disenfranchise voters. He was recently the only Republican candidate to go on the record defending Arizona’s longstanding early voting process.
Michelle Ugenti-Rita has been preparing to run for Arizona secretary of state for years. She’s gone to great lengths to brand herself as an elections-focused lawmaker, first as a representative and then state senator. Now on the campaign trail, Ugenti-Rita calls herself “the voice of the voter.” But she faces a challenging primary due to her criticisms of the Arizona Senate’s so-called audit.