Richer In The News

County Recorder Adrian Fontes has a record to run on, but will it propel or doom him?

September 13, 2020

An incumbent facing a novice challenger has the advantage of running on his record. It can also be a disadvantage.

As a political neophyte, Adrian Fontes seized on the latter in 2016 to upend longtime Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, who had badly flubbed the presidential primary election that year.

Now challenger Stephen Richer, an attorney in his first attempt at public office, is using that same playbook against him.

Fontes, a Democrat, put together an uneventful primary election last month, despite a record turnout and frets over risks posed by COVID-19. His office made moves to ease access to voter registration and early balloting; the high volume of voting by mail reflected that.

It was perhaps his finest hour as recorder.

Some Actions Landed Fontes In Hot Water
It doesn’t erase some dramatically bad moments in Fontes’ term. The latest came on Thursday, when the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the county recorder cannot instruct voters to cross out mistakes on their ballots for the November election, as he had done in the March presidential preference election and in the August primary.

The court decision necessitates a scramble, Fontes’ office acknowledged in a statement, “to see what can be accomplished before early ballots are required to be mailed out on September 19 to military and overseas voters.”

This follows Fontes’ ruckus-causing bid, early in the Democratic Presidential Preference Election, to address fears of in-person voting by sending out an early ballot to all registered Democrats – regardless of whether they had signed up to be on the Permanent Early Voting List.

County recorder hopeful wants to make running elections ‘boring again’; incumbent pushes for voter access

September 30, 2020

Candidate Stephen Richer says he wants to “make the Recorder’s Office boring again,” while incumbent Adrian Fontes says if reelected he will continue to fight for improved voter access and trust.

Fontes said he wants to continue making it easier to vote, collaborating with others to run the county’s elections and ensuring the voting process is safe from hackers.

Richer, a Republican, says he is trying to oust Democrat Fontes from his role as Maricopa County recorder in this November’s election because he believes the position shouldn’t be riddled with controversy, as it has been for years now.

The Recorder’s Office serves the public through the mostly routine tasks of recording, tracking and providing public access to documents such as deeds and property maps. But it also oversees the county’s elections — and that’s where the controversy has come in.

Stephen Richer battles Clair Van Steenwyk for County Recorder in August 4 primary

Jul 30, 2020

Two republican candidates will square off against each other in the August 4 primary for the right to face incumbent Adrian Fontes (D) for the office of Maricopa County Recorder…

Who is running for Maricopa County recorder? Fontes faces two Republican challengers

Jul 09, 2020

Two Republicans are looking to unseat Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes this election cycle. The recorder’s office oversees voter registration and early voting and maintains the recorded documents…

Maricopa County Recorder Fontes May Have Misused Public Funds

Jun 04, 2020 | Phoenix

Secretary of State’s Elections Director Bo Dul called Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes’ decision to illegally send ballots to voters who did not request them “unbelievable.” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs…

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