Mark Finchem

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Mark Finchem
Mark Finchem by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 11th district
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Serving with Bret Roberts
Preceded byAdam Kwasman
Personal details
BornDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Children3
EducationKalamazoo Valley Community College[citation needed]
WebsiteCampaign website

Mark W. Finchem[1] is an American politician serving as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 11 since January 5, 2015. Finchem is also member of several far-right organizations.[2][3] He is the Arizona Coordinator for the Coalition of Western States, an organization that opposes the activities of the Bureau of Land Management and supported the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.[4]

Finchem is a member of the militia group Oath Keepers and has espoused the QAnon conspiracy theory. He is a candidate in the 2022 race to become Secretary of State of Arizona.[2][5]

Early life[edit]

Finchen was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Kalamazoo.[1]

Career[edit]

After graduating high school, he worked as a firefighter and police officer in Kalamazoo, retiring in 1999.[6] He lived in Delton, Michigan, where he also worked as a rancher.[1] He then moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he worked for the business and financial software company Intuit before becoming a real estate broker.[1]

Arizona House of Representatives[edit]

In 2016, Finchem introduced legislation that would prohibit Arizona from implementing presidential executive orders, directives issued by federal agencies and U.S. Supreme Court rulings.[2] In 2019 he introduced a bill to create a code of ethics for teachers which consisted primarily of text from a report published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[2] He also sponsored in 2019 a bill that would seek to transfer management of federal lands in Arizona to the state government.[7]

As of 2021, Finchem is a member of the House of Representatives' committees on the Judiciary, on Military Affairs & Public Safety, and on Natural Resources, Energy & Water.[1]

Coalition of Western States[edit]

As of 2016, Finchem was Arizona Coordinator of the Coalition of Western States (COWS), a group founded by Washington state representative Matt Shea in 2014 to support Cliven Bundy and his family in their confrontation with law enforcement, which also supported the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.[4] Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League described COWS as motivated by "anti-government extremism and anti-public lands extremism", and said that Finchem's membership indicated he shared extremist views.[4]

Response to the 2020 presidential election[edit]

Following the 2020 United States presidential election, Finchem supported the "Stop the Steal" movement which falsely claimed that Donald Trump won the election nationally and in Arizona.[8] Finchem called for the Arizona legislature to appoint presidential electors of its own choosing. It was later revealed that a business affiliated with Finchem, Mrk Finchem PLLC [sic], received $6,037 from the Trump reelection campaign. Finchem said the payment was for security costs related to his meeting with Rudy Giuliani.[9]

2021 storming of the United States Capitol[edit]

Finchem traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the January 6, 2021 protest that was followed by the storming of the United States Capitol. He said there was "substantial evidence that this election was a fraud" and tweeted photographs of protestors massed on the steps of the Capitol building.[8] Finchem later claimed that leftists had instigated the violence.[10]

A coalition of community organizations subsequently called for the expulsion of Finchem and six other Arizona Republican lawmakers who advocated overturning the 2020 election.[8][11] In response to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) briefing that said antifa groups were not involved in the attack on the Capitol, Finchem said he did not "trust a word that comes out of the FBI's mouth".[12]

2022 Secretary of State campaign[edit]

In March 2021, Finchem announced he would run for Secretary of State of Arizona in the 2022 election.[13] He received Donald Trump's endorsement in September 2021.[14]

Political views[edit]

In 2013, Finchem argued that Barack Obama was seeking to establish a "totalitarian dictatorship."[2] In 2017, Finchem described the white supremacist Unite the Right rally as a "deep state psyop" carried about by Democrats.[2]

In 2021, Finchem promoted false claims about fraud in the 2020 elections.[15]

Elections[edit]

2014

Finchem finished second in the Republican primary behind Vince Leach and ahead of Jo Grant.

Finchem and Leach ran successfully in the general election. Finchem came in first with 36,732 votes, ahead of Leach and Democratic challenger Holly Lyon.[16]

2016

Finchem and Leach defeated Democrats Corin Hammond and Barry Mccain (write-in candidate) in the general election.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Mark Finchem". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Flaherty, Joseph (March 22, 2019). "From Charlottesville to Oath Keepers, Rep. Mark Finchem Is a Fringe Lawmaker". Phoenix New Times.
  3. ^ Marans, Daniel (October 22, 2018). "GOP State Lawmakers Pal Around With White Supremacists. Party Group Backs Them Anyway". HuffPost.
  4. ^ a b c Kelety, Josh (October 1, 2020). "Rep. Mark Finchem Worked With Anti-Government Extremists, Emails Show". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  5. ^ CNN, Mallory Simon, Sara Sidner, Julia Jones and Jason Kravarik. "What happened after locally elected officials posted or openly supported QAnon conspiracy theories". CNN.
  6. ^ Devereaux, Brad (January 11, 2021). "Lawmaker, former Kalamazoo policeman tweets #stopthesteal from violent riot at U.S. Capitol". MLive. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  7. ^ Hsieh, Steven; Flaherty, Joseph (January 3, 2019). "Arizona Lawmaker Lifted Teacher Code of Ethics From Far-Right Group". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Waltz, Adam (January 8, 2021). "Seven Arizonan Republican legislators face calls to ban them from the House and Senate". KNXV. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  9. ^ Oxford, Andrew (February 6, 2021). "Trump campaign paid Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem $6,000 during effort to overturn election results". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  10. ^ Oxford, Andrew (January 7, 2021). "Among some in Arizona GOP, siege of the US Capitol was everyone's fault except Trump". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  11. ^ "Organizations call for expulsion of several Arizona GOP lawmakers". KTAR-FM. January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Siders, David (January 13, 2021). "Capitol riot fueled by deep network of GOP statehouse support". Politico. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  13. ^ Fischer, Howard (March 31, 2021). "Rep. Finchem Starts Run For Secretary of State". KAWC-FM. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Cillizza, Chris (September 14, 2021). "Donald Trump is now backing a QAnon conspiracy theorist to run Arizona's elections". CNN. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  15. ^ "FACT FOCUS: AZ canvass report draws nonsensical conclusions". AP NEWS. September 10, 2021. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2014 General Election November 4, 2014" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 9. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  17. ^ "Arizona Secretary of State Election Night Reporting". Arizona Secretary of State. Retrieved March 16, 2020.

External links[edit]