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Arizona: Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions

A collection of examples illustrates the prevalence of election denial in 2022 contests for the offices that will run the next elections in Arizona.

Published: March 29, 2022
Illustration featuring the state of Arizona
Brennan Center for Justice
View the entire Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions series

Below, we compile quotes from campaigns’ ads, websites, social media posts, and state­ments repor­ted in the media that illus­trate endorse­ment or oppos­i­tion to elec­tion denial — claims that the process or result of the last pres­id­en­tial elec­tion was ille­git­im­ate. Each of the candid­ates is running for an office that will play a role in admin­is­ter­ing future elec­tions in Arizona. Inform­a­tion about the finan­cing of these campaigns and those in other battle­ground states can be found here.

Governor

Steve Gaynor

Busi­­ness owner Steve Gaynor (R) appeared at a Trump rally in the summer of 2021 where elec­­tion denial was raised by several speak­­ers. Gaynor said, “This has to be fixed. This can’t happen again — there are a million Repub­­lic­ans in our state who believe the elec­­tion was rigged.” His campaign ran a Face­­book ad in support of Arizona legis­lat­ors’ partisan audit.

Steve Gaynor Facebook ad

Katie Hobbs

As the current Arizona secret­ary of state, gubernat­orial candid­ate Katie Hobbs (D) has defen­ded the way the 2020 elec­tion was conduc­ted. In Janu­ary, she tweeted that Trump “spewed lies about the 2020 elec­tion and encour­aged the ongo­ing and danger­ous attacks on our demo­cracy," predict­ing that her oppon­ent, Kari Lake, “will reject the will of the people in future elec­tions.” In an email to support­ers, the Hobbs campaign describes her oppos­i­tion to “sham audits," “misin­form­a­tion,” and “anti-demo­cratic extrem­ism” and warns that “proponents of the Big Lie are running to over­see elec­tion results in statewide and local offices.”

Kari Lake

Former TV news anchor Kari Lake (R), who has emerged as a fron­trun­­ner in the Repub­­lican primary, has said she would not have certi­fied the 2020 elec­­tion. In an inter­­view featured on her campaign website, Lake said the sham ballot review in Arizona revealed evid­­ence of fraud­u­lent votes, conclud­ing, “Joe Biden did not win.” She has said the lead­ing Demo­cratic candid­ate, Secret­ary of State Katie Hobbs, should be imprisoned for how she ran the 2020 elec­tion. A campaign TV ad has Lake talk­ing about the “rigged elec­tion of 2020” over darkened foot­age of people using ballot drop boxes, taken from an elec­tion fraud conspir­acy docu­ment­ary by conser­vat­ive comment­ator Dinesh D’Souza.