On Saturday, Arizona Secretary of State candidate, Adrian Fontes, condemned a tweet containing false information about his opponent Rep. Mark Finchem. However, the meme, apparently produced by Steven Slugocki, who describes himself as a “Senior Campaign Advisor” to Fontes, remained up.
According to several Republican supporters of Finchem, their reports of false election information to Twitter, which has been quick to remove questionable tweets about Democratic Party candidates, were ignored. In fact, as of press time, the misleading tweet remains up.
“@RealMarkFinchem sent out a fundraising tweet telling everyone he will follow the law. Well, we know that’s not true so we fixed his graphic for him to be more accurate,” tweeted Slugocki.
For his part, Finchem used the offending tweet as an opportunity to remind voters that Fontes has a checkered criminal legal history and was admonished for violating Arizona law when he served as Maricopa County Recorder.
“This is so lame,” tweeted Finchem. “Your candidate has a rap sheet and violated election law. Full stop.”
This is so lame. Your candidate has a rap sheet and violated election law. Full stop. https://t.co/AecxpNVtDQ
— Mark Finchem (@RealMarkFinchem) September 30, 2022
At first, Fontes’ statement appeared “classy” to some, but the fact that he acted as if his campaign had nothing to do with it, rubbed some the wrong way:
There is a photoshopped image of my opponent on this platform that doesn’t help.
It may correctly symbolize & portray his distain (sic) for our regular constitutional order, but it is inaccurate & inauthentic.
He’s bad enough in real life.
Let’s not give him excuses to whine, please.
Slugocki, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego’s appointee to the Neighborhood Block Watch Fund Oversight Committee, is a Business Sales Consultant for Wells Fargo in Phoenix. In August, Slugocki tweeted that he was “So incredibly proud to be on this team,” referring to Fontes. “Thank you everyone! On to November! Together we will WIN!”
Winning could be tough based on polls that show a tight race. The OH Predictive Insights poll of likely Arizona voters released on September 21st shows Finchem leading 40%-35%. Other polls show a tied race or a slight Fontes lead.
Finchem has an advantage in Arizona’s Republican voter registration advantage while Fontes is banging hard at Finchem’s early support for dramatically scaling back mail-in voting, which sets Finchem at odds with voters who strongly support voting by mail.