A petition to recall state Rep. Mark Finchem will not continue, organizers said this week.
The recall effort was facing a July 8 deadline to collect about 25,000 signatures of residents of Legislative District 11 to force a recall of the Republican lawmaker who represents an area northwest of Tucson including Oro Valley, Marana and into Pinal County. An online update from the organizer, Rural Arizonans for Accountability, said it had collected 18,000 signatures since the effort began in early March.
“After analyzing the number of signatures we still need, the shrinking number of days left until our deadline, and our current finances, we made the difficult decision to stop collecting signatures,” the group said in a statement emailed to supporters.
The group said it launched the petition drive because of Finchem’s “dishonesty,” his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, his history of spreading conspiracy theories and his failure to perform his duties as a legislator.
The group said Finchem, who is running for Arizona secretary of state in 2022, is still being “dishonest” about his activities during the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.
Finchem has acknowledged he attended then-President Donald Trump’s speech, then walked to the Capitol. Finchem has said he left the Capitol and did not learn of the riot until later in the evening.
In a social media post, Finchem said the group collecting signatures promoted “baseless false claims.”
“For an effort that was rooted in baseless fraudulent claims and defamatory accusations, I am not surprised,” he wrote about the recall petition being called off.