Maricopa County’s long-awaited drop of 71,000 ballots on Monday night locked in three key races for Democrats: governor, secretary of state, and senator. The vote results remain unofficial, with two statewide races remaining close.
Republicans easily won the state treasurer’s race with incumbent Kimberly Yee at the helm, leading Democratic challenger Martín Quezada nearly 56 to 44 points.
Quezada retweeted political commentary indicating that the Democratic Party didn’t offer him enough support, financial or otherwise.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly will likely win handily over Republican challenger Blake Masters, 51 to 46 percent.
It appears that Masters issued a preliminary concession on Friday, preparing for what Monday’s returns made more apparent.
Democrat Katie Hobbs will be Arizona’s 24th governor, becoming the fifth woman to do so. Hobbs pulled in 50 percent of the vote to Republican opponent Kari Lake’s 49 percent. Hobbs announced that she won on Monday, but Lake didn’t concede.
Rather, Lake questioned why Maricopa County’s top election officials, Recorder Stephen Richer and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, launched a political action committee (PAC) to defeat certain Republicans.
Democrat Adrian Fontes prevailed over Republican Mark Finchem in the Secretary of State race, bringing in 52 percent over Finchem’s 47 percent. Fontes declared victory on Monday morning, long before the ballot drop that night.
Finchem refused to believe the results of Monday’s ballot counts. He reminded voters that the polls didn’t reflect the results at all, challenging the ballots’ validity.
Several races remained too close to call. In the race for superintendent of public instruction, Republican Tom Horne leads Democrat incumbent Kathy Hoffman by .02 percent — just over 6,400 votes. In the attorney general’s race, Democrat Kris Mayes also leads Republican Abraham Hamadeh by .02 percent: nearly 3,200 votes.
Greenlee and La Paz counties had 100 percent of their votes completed. Yavapai and Gila counties had over 99 percent of their votes completed as of Monday night. Maricopa County had nearly 99 percent of votes completed. Yuma and Pima counties had 98 percent of votes completed. Coconino County had 97 percent of votes completed. Pinal and Navajo counties had 94 percent of votes completed. Cochise County had nearly 91 percent of votes completed. At the rear, Apache County had 74 percent of votes completed.
With one week left before Election Day, Twitter suspended Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem and state representative candidate Christian Lamar.
Within hours of notifying Twitter’s new, free speech-friendly owner, Elon Musk, Finchem was reinstated. Musk changed his Twitter bio to read “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” around the same time. As of Tuesday morning, Lamar’s account was reinstated also.
Finchem, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, issued a call to action concerning his suspension via Truth Social and press releases.
“Twitter has blocked my account from speaking truth with one week left until the election. They are trying to put their thumb on the scales of this election. Tag Elon Musk and tell him to unban me right now. I am the Secretary of State nominee in a swing state running against the criminal Soros-funded candidate,” Finchem wrote.
Musk promised he was “looking into it,” after lawyer and Newsmax contributor Jenna Ellis tagged him. Minutes later, Finchem’s suspension was rescinded.
Finchem said that a “commie” Twitter employee was to blame for the suspension. He said that a tweet instructing Arizonans to boo former President Barack Obama at a campaign rally may have been the reason for his suspension. Twitter didn’t inform Finchem which tweet incurred punishment.
The publicity of the Twitter suspension and Musk’s involvement prompted a response from Adrian Fontes, Finchem’s opponent. Fontes insinuated that Musk reduced his reach on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: Since our story published, search results for Kari Lake now show her campaign website on Google’s first page.
Google appears to be skewing search results of Arizona’s gubernatorial candidates to favor the Democratic candidates over the Republicans. AZ Free News monitored search results over the past week and discovered indications of a consistent bias for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and secretary of state candidate Adrian Fontes, over their respective Republican opponents Kari Lake and Mark Finchem.
It’s likely the latest in Google’s history of attempting to sway election outcomes. The Big Tech giant historically referred to their technique of manipulating search results as “ephemeral experiences.” Google has admitted to manufacturing this information in order to change people’s attitudes and behavior concerning politics.
A search of “Katie Hobbs” brings up Hobbs’ website as the first result, followed by top news portraying Hobbs favorably. A sample of articles featured over the weekend: an MSNBC interview that she’s the sane candidate, a Fox News report that she has “Republicans” campaigning for her, a KTAR report that former President Barack Obama will stump for her and Senator Mark Kelly, and an Insider report on Fox News mistakenly screening mock election results of a Hobbs victory.
After those articles, it’s Hobbs’ secretary of state website, her Twitter feed, her Wikipedia page, an endorsement by pro-abortion group Emily’s List, her Ballotpedia, her Facebook, and various coverage of the burglary of her campaign office.
Then there’s the results of a search on “Kari Lake.” Her campaign website doesn’t appear on any of the first 11 search result pages, and doesn’t appear even when omitted results are included. Lake’s website appears sporadically via ads, alongside which there are usually ads asking voters to donate to Hobbs.
Search results for Lake yield a Wikipedia page first, followed by top news portraying Lake unfavorably. Here were some of the articles featured over the weekend: multiple outlets’ coverage of “Saturday Night Live” mocking Lake and other Trump-backed candidates, multiple outlets’ reports on former congresswoman Liz Cheney’s millions and latest ad to defeat Lake, an Arizona Republic report detailing Attorney General Mark Brnovich accusing Lake of running a “giant grift,” and a Politico report on Lake using “MAGA star power.” After those articles, it’s Lake’s Ballotpedia, her Twitter feed, several YouTube videos, a Washington Post article, her Instagram feed, and her Facebook page.
Something similar occurs when voters look up the secretary of state candidates. A search for “Mark Finchem” yields his state legislator profile first, not his website, followed by his Wikipedia page and a collection of “top stories” characterizing Finchem as an “election denier” and target of Cheney’s PAC. Whereas a search for “Adrian Fontes” yields his campaign website first, followed by his Ballotpedia profile, endorsements, social media profiles, and two individual links to news coverage detailing Fontes’ campaign platform. Absent from the first page of results are “top stories” portraying Fontes in any negative light.
The same can’t be said for other races. Google search results for attorney general candidates Abraham Hamadeh (R) and Kris Mayes (D) yield their websites first, followed by Ballotpedia and social media accounts — no top news stories aggregated near the top.
The same is true for the search results for Maricopa County attorney, superintendent, treasurer, and state legislative candidates. U.S. House and Senate races don’t reflect that bias, either.
Google has a history of political favoritism of the left. Evidence of their role in elections became evident following the 2016 presidential election.
In last Thursday’s episode of Fox News “Tucker Carlson Today,” acclaimed psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein said that Google modifies its search results to influence voters. That’s in addition to the fact that Google is one of the top surveillance entities in the world.
Epstein, a Biden voter, said that his research confirmed whistleblower testimonies of Google’s election influence. Throughout the 2016 election, Epstein monitored Google activity using 1,735 voters across four swing states. In all, Epstein gleaned around 1.5 million ephemeral experiences across not only Google, but Bing, YouTube, and Facebook.
Epstein asserted that the biggest issue in elections wasn’t fraud but the Big Tech companies’ unchecked influence.
“I was nauseated that our data were [sic] telling us that this election was in the hands of private companies, Google in particular. Literally, that there is no more democracy, there is no more free and fair election, it’s just an illusion,” stated Epstein.
Epstein said that Google and YouTube influenced search results to favor far-left ideology. He estimated that Google’s influence in search results affected around 6 million votes in 2020.
“What we found was extreme liberal bias on Google — which is the only real search engine that counts — and hardly any bias on Bing and Yahoo,” said Epstein.
Arizona doesn’t appear to be the top priority for the Big Tech giant this year, despite evidence of their handiwork in the gubernatorial and secretary of state races. According to Epstein’s research, Google’s current primary focus is Wisconsin.
Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee (RNC) sued Google over claims of censorship. The RNC provided research indicating that the Big Tech giant sends its campaign emails to spam folders automatically to suppress its fundraising and get-out-the-vote messages.
Congressmen Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) and State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) will not be disqualified from the upcoming midterm elections for organizing the January 6 protest, a judge ruled on Friday.
The question before the court was whether the three candidates violated Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, also known as the “Disqualification Clause.” Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury dismissed the case, ruling that the plaintiffs had no right of action to determine such a violation under the Constitution or supporting law.
Coury explained that the lawsuit’s argument for exercising the 14th Amendment contradicted legal precedent: the 1869 ruling for In Re Griffin, for example. Coury wrote that precedent, coupled with context of the amendment within the article, empowered Congress to exercise the 14th Amendment — not individual states or the people.
“[T]he Constitution provides legislation enacted by Congress is required to enforce the disqualification pursuant to the Disqualification Clause. Aside from criminal statutes dealing with insurrection and rebellion which Congress has enacted (lawsuits which require the government, not private citizens, to initiate), Congress has not passed legislation that is presently in effect which enforces the Disqualification Clause against the Candidates,” wrote Coury. “The text of the Constitution is mandatory. It sets forth the single arbiter of the qualifications of members of Congress; that single arbiter is Congress. It would contradict the plain language of the United States Constitution for this Court to conduct any trial over the qualifications of a member of Congress.”
The judge also rejected the argument that Arizona law enabled a private right of action to enforce the Disqualification Clause where the Constitution and federal law didn’t. Coury distinguished the term “prescribed” from “proscribed,” ruling that the Arizona law in question encompassed requirements for holding office, not disqualifications. Coury added that his interpretation was consistent with state and federal precedent.
Coury also noted that none of the three men were charged with or convicted of insurrection or rebellion. He refused to rule on the merits of the allegations of insurrection made against Gosar, Biggs, and Finchem.
The lawsuit was filed by Free Speech For People, a Democrat-backed, progressive nonprofit. The organization was ruled against last month as well in a similar lawsuit against Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11). Another one of their similar lawsuits against Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) had a hearing on Friday.
A Democrat-backed nonprofit wants State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) disqualified from the upcoming midterm election for organizing the January 6 protest.
Arizona State University (ASU) law professor and legal expert Ilan Wurman told “The Conservative Circus” that the lawsuit not only misinterprets constitutional law but represents the bad habit of both parties to weaponize the Constitution.
“Just after the Civil War, this clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted to prevent individuals who had been office holders, federal and state office holders, who had taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, who then seceded from the Union, unconstitutionally seceded from the Union, and then took up arms against the government of the United States. By the way, that is an insurrection,” explained Wurman.
The nonprofit, Free Speech for People, invoked the Fourteenth Amendment to argue that Finchem, Biggs, and Gosar were responsible for the U.S. Capitol intrusion because they helped organize the preceding protest.
The lawsuit against Finchem, Biggs, and Gosar is part of a national campaign to “ban insurrectionists from the ballot” under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment: the “14Point3 Campaign.” Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) and Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11) also face lawsuits under the campaign. Last month, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled in favor of Cawthorn.
Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment reads as follows:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
The nonprofit behind the lawsuit, Free Speech for People, also filed another lawsuit last month against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) concerning the debunked Russiagate collusion.